I was contemplating the S Scroll carving that I had recently finished, and looking forward to trying a different technique on the next set. The question in my head was, do you do the outline with ALL chisels, all V-Tool work, or a combination of both. The answer according to Peter Follansbee is “All of the Above”. I did the most recent panel with all chisel outlining only. I’m going to do the next panel with V-tool outlining with some chisel work to outline the leaves. I also had a couple of lingering questions on how much layout did I do to before starting, and how much is free hand, etc. etc.
Checking on PF’s blog he posted just recently about tool marks present on extant 17th pieces. He did a close up of some marks on a Scrolled panel like I’m working on figuring out. It showed some marks left visible from whatever craftsman made it the first place, which helped me understand some of the layout tricks they used.
I did some work with a Paint program to highlight some of the visible marks. I also modified the original image with “emboss” filter to show the lines better, which accentuates the V tool lines.
Then I took the background away to show just what the layout lines would look like when starting from scratch.
Which makes it much easier to understand the starting point of the design. You layout just this part, and you can probably do the rest of the design with just tools with a little practice. I found that to be true after only four of the Scrolls on my previous panel, and I could see how after you do a bunch of them it would become second nature. The half-circles would make it easier for the whole design to be visually consistent, especially if you were doing a whole bunch of these in a row. You could do all the similar markings on one setting of the compass, and then set the smaller diameter and do them all in a row.
Remember these were production houses and working gentlemen making these, and if it was easy to repeat and you could get more efficient with a few tricks, then they probably did it. I’m looking forward to trying this on my next panel…