View Full Version : "Square Flower" Tutorial

Mike Henderson
06-25-2009, 10:34 PM
Here's another very easy flower to carve - I call it the "Square Flower" because of the layout.

I did this flower in the carved panel I posted earlier. It was so easy, and yet it looked good and felt good when you ran your hand over it that I decided to do this tutorial on it.

I'm going to be working in basswood. I have a piece of basswood that's about 7" wide. You certainly don't have to make your flower the same size, just scale your work to the size wood you have. Note that all the descriptions of the carving tools are given in the Swiss system.

I called this a "square flower" so the first thing I'm going to do is draw a line about 7" from the end so I have a square. Then, I'm going to divide that square into four quadrants by drawing a horizontal and vertical line half way - at 3.5"

Next, I put a "tic mark" on the vertical and horizontal lines at 3" from the center and then connect those points with straight lines to give me a square.

Then, I subdivide that square into four quadrants, as shown in the picture below.

I now want to sketch in the flower petals, which I do by hand. I come in 1/2" from the square and just draw the shape of the petals freehand. If you want the petals to stand out more, just come in more (closer to the center).

Mike Henderson
06-25-2009, 10:42 PM
I draw the center of the flower - here I'm using a circle of 1" diameter but you should scale it to look good for the size of your flower.
Using a 2/19, I make stop cuts along the edges of the petals.

And then cut inward to give shape to the flower.

I deepen my stop cuts and then use a 5/10 to give a fluted effect around the flower.

Using a 5/16, I make stop cuts around the center of the flower.

With the 5/10 I begin to shape the petals and highlight the center of the flower. Note that I don't cut in the area between the petals - I'm going to shape the petals and want that are to be high.

Mike Henderson
06-25-2009, 10:50 PM
I used the V-tool and made a cut between the petals, then using a 7/20 I continue to shape the petals. Note how I've hollowed out the petals with a slope towards the center. You want the center part of the petal (where it touches the center dome) to be fairly deep. This flower looks good with high relief.

Next, I'm going to shape the center of the flower into a dome. When you make the cuts on the center, always go in the direction of the arrows. If you do not follow the arrows, the wood will chip out on you.

I used a 2/12 to dome over the center.

I then sanded the petals and the dome with P150 sandpaper.

I want to lay out the lines for the accent marks on the petals. The center lines are simple because you can use the tips of the petals for alignment. The other two must be done by eye. But there's almost no bad accent marks. Just use your judgment.

Mike Henderson
06-25-2009, 10:52 PM
Use your V-tool to cut the accent marks into the petals.

Do some finish sanding with finer sandpaper and that's it - you're done!

Okay, now let me see your "Square Flower".


Chuck Saunders
06-26-2009, 9:49 AM
You make it look easy, Thanks Mike

Mike Henderson
06-26-2009, 1:08 PM
It is easy! Give it a try.