Bannister back chair – roughing the crest rail
I love to carve. But, I certainly wouldn’t call myself a carver. Most of my carving has been limited to architectural details and small work on furniture. At first look, the baroque acanthus crest rail on this project was more than a little daunting. But the more I studied the photos, I became aware that it was actually pretty straightforward. The are three (maybe four) basic elevations, each designed to “pull details forward”.
The first task was to cut out the “piercings”. I was going to do this with a coping saw, but Les offered his scroll saw. Not too reluctantly, I accepted his offer.
Then the actual “roughing in” began. This process allows me to come to an understanding of where the elevations are, where I need to make transitions, etc. The good news is, that if I make a little mistake, I can always go a bit deeper when doing the finish work (thank goodness).
I didn’t have a photo of the back of the crest rail. Fortunately, the construction details are to be found in the excellent tome offered by the Metropolitan Museum of Art,
BTW, This book is available for viewing, in its entirety, on the Metropolitan Museum of Art Website. It’s an incredible resource. It ain’t cheap, but it’s an excellent reference book for anyone building (or simply interested in) period furniture.
The top “bell flower” will be mirrored on the back side. As in the original, the piercings will be given a broad bevel, just to give the back a little interest. After all, not everyone can set next to the wall.
The project is going reasonably well. For once, I might actually complete something on time. But, you never know what might come up.