Friday, December 21, 2012

Acanthus Leaves, etc.

Progress continues...

I very much look forward staining these things. The pale look of sanded, less-than-ideal mahogany needs to be hidden.

Happy Holidays!


  1. I have used linseed oil followed by shellac on Mahogany. This based on the advice of Allan Breed. My experience has been very good. No stain, and the piece darkens over tume to that deep rich color we associate with mahogany.

    Herb Kettler

  2. This really looks good. I am envious.

    Mark Schreiber

  3. You continue to get better and better.It looks really great. No doubt this will be done for the show.

    I look forward to seeing it in person.

    Merry Christmas

    jim Marsh

  4. I made a carved footstool at school. (NBSS) Mine was made out of walnut, not mahogany, but anyway...

    When I stained mine, I used asphaltum. I'm sure there are purer sources, I borrowed mine from a friend who had basically thinned out roof patching tar from the Home Despot with turpentine. The tar had a high asphaltum content. So, I scrubbed the piece down with thinned out roofing tar, and washed it down a few times with thinned out turpentine.

    The point of doing that, as described by finishing sources that I've read, is supposedly to imitate grunge, etc, to make it look old. I don't know about all that, but what it did for me was to highlight the details of the carving in a really cool way. I saw a lot of other carved work at school, all looked like your pre-finish, but a lot of it had a similar monotone appearance after being stained or hit with shellac. Something thick will get into the cracks and crevices and really bring out the carving when you're done.

    I'm sure it doesn't have to be roofing tar. You could probably cook up something with candle soot, or some other fine particulate that will get into the crevices and wipe clean from the high points. But I figured it would be worth passing that along... it really makes a difference.

    Carve some random details in a scrap piece and give it a whirl... you might be surprised.

  5. Thanks for your message. Have you read lots of picture books? It's an excellent way to get a really good feel for what works. And it's worth checking out the recent ones (so you could go into a bookshop and read through lots of them -very carefully of course!). And if you buy some that you think are great, or get some really good ones out of the library, try typing them out and looking at them as manuscripts so you can see where the page turns happen and the shape of the story. That can really help give you a feel for it. I would really recommend joining SCBWI and there are all sorts of events where you can learn from other authors and editors and agents. We've got critique groups which can be extremely valuable in helping you make your story the very best it can be. My latest post is all about feedback on your writing, which might help (click on my name on the right hand side of the blog and it'll come up). And don't worry about your story not coming out perfect first time round: it often takes lots and lots of editing to get it right.
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