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Nordic Relief Carving: From the Acanthus Plant to Dragon Motifs

Course Overview

The "Dragon" or "Stave Church Style" of carving is perhaps Norway's greatest contribution to the carving world. The Mediterranean acanthus plant, adopted from ancient Greek stone work, was adopted by woodworkers in Scandinavia in the 18th and 19th centuries. These two styles continue to be primary forms of adornment in Scandinavian woodcarving today. This course welcomes both beginning woodcarvers interested in relief carving, as well as experienced carvers who would like to develop new relief carving skills within the Nordic tradition. Beginners will be introduced to basic relief carving tools and techniques. Then, with a provided practice blank gain the basic skills needed for the class project. All students will then choose individual projects, including such household items as plate shelves, candleholders or bread servers, incorporating relief work based on acanthus plants or Dragon-style motifs. Tool selection and sharpening and finishing techniques are included. Tools may be available for loan and/or purchase.

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