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Old 08-08-2003, 04:19 PM   #1
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Default Norwegian Acanthus Carving

Thought the Hans Sandom article was great,i would now like to know how to design/draw these beautiful Acanthus leaves to suit my own purposes, are there any carvers out there that could help,as i live in Ireland a course with Hans would be out of the question at the moment,maybe in the future
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Old 08-10-2003, 07:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Norwegian Acanthus Carving

Wow, another acanthus carver! Let me suggest some good books:
1. Woodcarving Techniques and Design by Mike Davies. Lots of designs and a section on how to draw acanthus leaves. Super book!
2. How to Carve Wood by Richard Butz, 1984. Lots of drawings and patterns of acanthus carvings. I posted photos of 3 acanthus panels on Picture Trail, and the patterns or photos for those came from this book.
3. Decorative Woodcarving by Graham Bull, 2000. Examples of decorative carving.
4. Essential Woodcarving Techniques by Dick Onians, 1997. Includes a chapter on traditional foliage/acanthus.
5. Carving Architectural Detail in Wood; The Clasical Tradtion by Frederick Wilbur, 2000. Lots of design and instruction on drawing acanthus and other decorative details.
6. Elements of Woodcarving by Chris Pye.

The great book you and I want is by Johan Amrud. Traditional Woodcarving in the Norwergian Tradition. Out of print and very hard to come by. One sold on e-bay recently for about $70. You can get his patterns form the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, 502 W. Water Street, Decorah, Iowa 52101, USA. If you ask, they'll send you a list. One of the acanthus panels I carved (and posted the photo) is an Amrud pattern that Butz showed as a photo in his book. He credits the carver and Vesterheim, but missed the fact that the original pattern and carving were by Amrud. Amrud used to teach acanthus carving at the Vesterheim Museum in Iowa but either died or moved back to Norway.

You're a lot closer to Norway than we are here in the U.S. but we seem to have a lot of interest in the art of decorative carving, and we still have some courses taught on the East Coast. Chris Pye is one of the British carvers who comes over here to teach a couple of weeks each year.

Good luck. If you can find Mike Davies book in a library, you'll be pleased with the content and the further reading that is referenced. The next time I see Johan Amrud's book for sale, I'm going to pay the price for it.
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Old 08-10-2003, 08:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Norwegian Acanthus Carving

mdallensr - Bookfinder.com has the Amrud book listed for $177. Don't know if you want to pay that price or not.
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Old 08-10-2003, 11:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Norwegian Acanthus Carving

Ed, you may make me eat my words. $177!?
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Old 08-11-2003, 05:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Norwegian Acanthus Carving

Seventy bucks on ebay is lookin' pretty good about now!
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Old 08-11-2003, 09:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: Norwegian Acanthus Carving

Ed, the real hurt is, when I first thought to look for the book on e-bay, as I did the search, an auction ended at about $25. I saved the seller's ID and went back and found another later that went in the $70's. Must be some book! I first found the information on Amrud and Vesterheim in Chip-Chats, March 1991. That's alos where I found the pattern for the ladies hand mirror I posted on Picture Trail. Chip Chats used to provide a lot of good patterns; not so many now. Somebody there got PO'd about people using the patterns and not giving credit to Chip Chats and the contributors and inserted a nasty editorial about the issue. Folks have been discusssing the issue ever since, as we have on this message board. What's really 'carved', what's 'original art', it is ALL wood, etc?
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Old 08-11-2003, 12:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Norwegian Acanthus Carving

Just hang in there xxx it will show up again xxx if your lucky as one of a multiple listing as plain carving books or some such. As for the chip chats patterns, there's always somebody that's got to stir the pot.
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Old 08-11-2003, 03:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Norwegian Acanthus Carving

Newgouger, you may want to check the Vesterheim web site:
http://www.vesterheim.org/Education/edfp.htm
They do list classes in acanthus carving, but you'll need to come over here to Iowa. Not a bad thing.
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Old 08-11-2003, 03:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: Norwegian Acanthus Carving

Newgouger, I just found the information on Chris Pye's classes at the Center for Furniture Craftmanship:
http://www.woodschool.com/
He teaches two, one-week courses in decorative carving, including acanthus. At least Rockport, Maine, in New England, is a little closer than Iowa. His classes were held in June this year.
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Old 08-11-2003, 05:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Norwegian Acanthus Carving

Thanks for the replies Guys keep em coming im having a ball here :P
Cheers Steve
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