View Full Version : Carver of Escher-based reliefs

Philip Allin
01-13-2010, 12:05 PM
Hello woodcarvers: I'm new to this site but not to carving, having whittled and carved for over 60 years as a hobby, not a profession. My recent interests have been reliefs based on the designs of the famous graphic artist M.C. Escher. Here is an example:


Chuck Nickerson
01-13-2010, 12:31 PM
Very nice work. Escher's 2D work just begs to be rendered in 3D. There's an image from the Book of Kells with a similar visual trick I'd like to carve. In it the components that create the illusion actually cross each other. My test pieces don't maintain the illusion unless they're viewed only from the front. I may have to mount the finished piece in a shadow box to control the viewer's relationship to the piece.

Brian Kent
01-13-2010, 12:35 PM
Philip, don't you know that carving Escher is a sign of either insanity or genius:eek:!

Both are welcome here. And since it worked for you, I guess it must be genius (or practice, skill, experience, lots of bleeding, whatever).

In other words, hey, I like it!

Dave McGeehan
01-14-2010, 9:31 AM
Philip, great job on a challenging design. What kind of wood and finish did you use? What did you use on the darker areas such as the roof?

Philip Allin
01-14-2010, 10:47 AM
Thanks Dave - The relief is 16" x 20" basswood. Portions are stained with dark (walnut) and medium stain (oak).

Two years ago I had an exhibit at my son's bakery in Pennsylvania featuring twelve carvings based on the work of Escher. Here are a couple of photos:

The first shows "Sky & Water I" which I carved about 30 years ago - 24" x 24" basswood and black walnut.

This second photo shows "Reptiles" - 22" x 20" basswood - 1-1/2" deep

Mark Yundt
01-14-2010, 10:56 AM
Very cool Phil, glad I got to see these. Pennsylvania 'eh? May I ask whereabouts in Pa?

Philip Allin
01-14-2010, 12:43 PM
The bakery is in Meadville, the home of Allegheny College, south of Erie. The exhibit ran through the summer of 2007. All the pieces are at my home now. The exhibit included these two intarzia works by a young friend in Italy. One is a collaboration we did of the "Reptiles" in which the relief lizards rise out of the flat intarzia and the other the "Belvedere":