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Short Description: Decorative Woodcarving: Accessories for the Home by Frederick Wilbur. It is refreshing to see an old adage proven wrong. It is said, for example, ...

Content Inside: Decorative Woodcarving: Accessories for the Home by Frederick Wilbur It is refreshing to see an old adage proven wrong. It is said, for example, that bad things come in threes. This is certainly not the case if you already own Frederick Wilbur's first two books and are curious about his latest. Wilbur's most recent publication on woodcarving, Decorative Woodcarving: Accessories for the Home, is proof that good things can indeed come in threes. A professional woodcarver and member of SAPFM, Wilbur begins his latest work by examining the four aspects of craft-- design, materials, tools and techniques--and explains each in a manner that is clear to the beginner and instructive to the more experienced carver. His explanation of the relationship among the tools within a family of gouges (all the same sweep) is one of the best I have read. He also offers practical advice on buying new and used tools. His list of 25 recommended tools comprises the ultimate beginner's set. For the newcomer to woodcarving, Decorative Woodcarving: Accessories for the Home is a logical segue from Wilbur's earlier books wherein he introduces the vocabulary of classical woodcarving, tracing its origins from the large edifice stonecarving of the ancient world to its ubiquitous use during the Baroque, Rococo, and neoclassical periods. Once the student has become familiar with the history, theory, and conventional application of carved moldings and other decorative elements introduced in the author's earlier work, he or she is ready to apply this knowledge to the variety of small, practical yet intensive projects presented here. In this book, Wilbur explains the thought process behind each piece, allowing the actual experience of carving to serve as the ultimate teacher. This process of self-critique is an important part of improving one's carving skills, and is every bit as necessary as study and practice. To the student of furniture making, the projects in Decorative Woodcarving provide ample opportunity to gain confidence-building experience with techniques that are transferrable to larger pieces. Acanthus leaves, scrolls, volutes, and carved molding are plentiful on over three dozen variations of bookends, wall pockets, picture frames, boxes, and turned items. Wilbur provides sketches for many of the projects pictured as well as the sequence of processes for completing alternate designs. Although an essential part of the author's trilogy, this book is a good stand-alone primer on the practical application of the woodcarver's art. Decorative Woodcarving: Accessories for the Home, 176 pp., is published by Fox Chapel Publishing and is available directly from the author at www.frederickwilbur-woodcarver.com. -Mark Arnold

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