Classes at Marc Adams School of Woodworking

Fundamentals of Carving With Mary May

Dates: 4/14 - 4/18
Tool List: Click here for tool list

Cost: $750
Materials: $30
Deposit: $300


This class is designed to be an introduction to basic carving skills and would be perfect for any furniture maker who wants to take his or her work to the next level. Mary will introduce student to the design process and ways to embellish your furniture as well as give it character. She will start by demonstrating the process of sharpening carving gouges the old fashioned way - by hand. This class will cover tool selection, how to work with grain issues in the wood, planning the cut, ways to carve safely, how to clamp the wood without damaging the carving, and subtle tips and tricks in getting the best use out of your gouges. Students will start with carving a basic relief of a floral decoration, then move on to a more advanced relief carving of a classical acanthus leaf design, and finally will move on to carve a classic shell design in relief. Mary will explain how to think through a carving project in order to make the carving process the most efficient. She will also demonstrate how to carve the linen-fold design, how to carve grapes or beads, and how to carve lettering.

Key Points:

Sharpening gouges
How to properly hold gouges for safety & efficiency
How to lower down background for relief carving
How to work with wood grain issues
How to carve a basic floral decoration
How to carve a classical acanthus leaf decoration
How to carve a classical scallop shell carving
Tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your gouges
Demonstrations on linen-fold design, grapes, and letter carving


There is a $45 annual registration fee that will be added to your the total amount of the class if this is the first class you are registering for this season.

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