Sculptured Grape Leaf Woodcarvings

These sculptured grape leaf woodcarvings certainly challenged my limited carving skills! While my time spent on woodcarving has waned a bit lately my interest in this age old handcraft is still as strong as ever. I enjoy all facets of woodcarving, from simple whittlings to architectural masterpieces. One of my keen interests has always been in sculptural carvings.

Here are a couple of carvings of grape leaves that I did as an exercise in tool technique and working with grain direction. They are about 10″ in length and 7″ wide and carved from Basswood.

Sculptured Grape Leaf Woodcarvings

I did these through a weekly class held at a local Italian Cultural Center. The class goals were to learn and practise the skills and traditional techniques of sculpting in wood and to explore the still life, wildlife, Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque styles.

The class was taught by John Gardin, an awe inspiring woodcarver and teacher. John began woodcarving over 50 years ago in Italy and since then has worked and taught around the world including South America and Canada.

I met John at a chance meeting at Halifax Hardwood Specialties while buying wood. After some small talk we got to talking about carving. When he mentioned that he taught a woodcarving course obviously my interest was peaked. He told me to come around the following week which I did. I ended up doing the fall and spring sessions that year and again the following fall session.

I’m hoping to go back again this fall, if only to finish the project that I’m still working on:

Sculptured Grape Leaf Woodcarvings

This is an Oak leaf and is about 10″ long and 5″ wide and made of Basswood. I began this near the end of the last session and unfortunately, I haven’t touched it since then.

These are very rewarding type projects because you learn a lot about wood. Understanding grain direction and how to work with it is critical. And since the final finish is made with only your woodcarving tools (there’s no sanding!) another level of understanding is achieved.

Back to the shop…

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