Perforated Wood Carving

Perforated Wood Carving

Carved surfaces with the background cut entirely through, that is perforated, are serviceable forms of ornamentation for chairs, tables, and occasionally for case work.

What has been said relative to surface carving is applicable to this style of work. The design ought to be of a kind in which the spaces and the solids balance each other properly, and no portion, should be cut around so as to leave it joined to the rest of the work at one point only. Aside from the poor appearance of such a form it is weak in construction and likely to split off.

Carving Chair Backs

The picture illustrates perforated carving in use on chair backs and shows how the parts are joined. It will be noticed that the perforated ornament is confined to the slat in the middle of the back, one-half of which is drawn as it appears when finished, while the other half is only blocked out ready for ornament.

Chair Backs

This is quite clear in the shield back design, where the middle slat is simple in form. The other chair has a more elaborate slat and its character as such is almost hidden by the form of the ornament. It should be noticed in designing a back of this sort that the general outlines are first determined, keeping in mind the constructive principles. In the chair illustrated the outline of the back is drawn first, next the ellipses composing the slat, and finally the carving. This latter follows carefully the lines of the composition so as not to destroy the original forms. The acanthus on the sides of the center ellipsis lap close about it, and as the opening in the middle of this ellipse was too large for practical, purposes or appearance, the group of husk ornaments was placed in the middle.

Where the top of the slat, in the form of a horizontal ellipse, joins the top rail of the back a dowel is placed. The thickness of the material included in the outlines of the ellipse is hardly sufficient to make a strong joint, and to have increased the thickness at this point only would have destroyed the appearance of the design unless some way had been, taken to prevent it.

This was done by turning a scroll at the point where the dowel occurs and filling in between the scroll and top rail with a small acanthus. This gives the increased material without injuring the appearance, and is a rational method of using carved ornament.

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