Although I’m not an overly religious person, I’m still drawn to the wisdom of most religious thought. So when a friend of mine asked if I’d do some letter carving on a portable altar he was building I jumped at the chance. Truth be told, I was more interested in the letters than the words. I haven’t been doing much carving lately, so here was an opportunity to get the old hands moving and someone else was buying the material. I find that letter carving is excellent practice for all types of carving as one must learn to “finesse” the tools in order to produce the beautifully faceted surfaces that are the hallmark of good carving. The material was walnut, a pleasure to work with.
A friend of mine, a fellow furniture maker and master upholsterer, who studied classical Latin as part of his graduate program, reminded me that there are no “u’s” or “j’s” in Roman Latin. I responded that this was “modern” Latin. Hmm…would that be the same as Italian? Let’s just call it “church” Latin.
There are a lot of good texts about letter carving available. Chris Pye’s book on the subject is one of the best. But is you can find a copy of the old Taunton video with Sam Bush carving letters, you’ll be well served. It is a classic. Thirty minutes, you’ll be a master carver.
Make a joyful noise.
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