View Full Version : Reference book

Thomas Knapp
06-11-2009, 10:57 PM
Does anyone know of a good reference book for traditional carving designs. Those used in furniture and architecture. I'm looking for fans, shells, acanthus leaves, grapes and other traditional elements. I've checked some carving books out of the library. I'm a little disappointed in what I have found so far. I was hoping to find one I liked and then buy one to keep. I don't mind buying books. I just hate buying books that don't contain much useful information.

Mike Henderson
06-11-2009, 11:34 PM
While it doesn't have any shells (that I remember), the two best books that I like are by Frederick Wilbur - Carving Architectural Detail in Wood (http://www.amazon.com/Carving-Architectural-Detail-Wood-Classical/dp/1861081588/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1244777305&sr=1-2), and Carving Classical Styles in Wood (http://www.amazon.com/Carving-Classical-Styles-Wood-Wilbur/dp/1861083637/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1244777464&sr=1-1). He has another book, Decorative Woodcarving (http://www.amazon.com/Decorative-Woodcarving-Accessories-Frederick-Wilbur/dp/1565233840/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1244777515&sr=1-1) which I do not like as much as the other two.

For Newport shells, the best tutorial I've seen was published in one of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers annuals. I think it was maybe the third annual but check on their web site. I think all the old annuals are still available.

Also, as you progress in your carving, get pictures of carved elements you like. I use my cell phone and take a picture of anything I see that could be used one day. If you have a picture, you can usually carve it.


[And while fairly simple elements, take a look at the tutorials in the sticky at the top of this forum.]

Gord Pat
06-12-2009, 10:36 AM
Two books in this category come to mind.
Manual of Traditional Wood Carving by Paul N.hasluck, Dover Pub. ISBN 0-486-23489-4.
Handbook of Ornament by Franz Sales Meyer, Dover Pub. ISBN 0-486-020302-6.
Also two manuals by Frederick Brunner might be of some assistance to you, long out of print but available on eBay occasionally or on-line old book stores like Alibris.

Thomas Knapp
06-14-2009, 7:23 PM
Thanks for the replies. We were camping for the weekend and I could not post my thanks till now. I did take my carving with me however. It is a turning Mike, Please don't be too disappointed. It is a piece I'm trying to get into a jurried show. You can't really see much in this picture except my set up. I'll show the picture of the finished carving when I am done. It is a walnut platter about 14 inches in diameter. With a fan carved on it.
I will see if I can find those books. I'll try the library system first. If I can't find them there I'll find them for sale. If I do find them through the library and like them. then I will still buy them.
thanks again

Christopher Fletcher
06-25-2009, 12:48 PM
I have read that Johan Amrud's book is a great carving reference . The cheapest one I can find is printed in norwegian on the bay. For this reason, I'm not sure how useful it would be as a how-to book as opposed to a visual reference book. The english reprint has been highly recommended by acanthus carvers, but runs about $200 since it's out of print.

PS~ the bay item number is 360139861911

Daniel Heine
06-25-2009, 1:58 PM

My suggestion would be from Lora Irish, Classic Carving Patterns: