LayOut and Carving the Guilloche Design

In my latest blog I mentioned that I would write up the process I used to get the Guilloche design onto Frame #205 and here it is! Although it does seem rather complicated once you figure out your pattern and concentrate on the work it’s not too bad. When I first began carving I’d look at other carvers work benches and marvel at how many chisels they had. When you do a relief carving you can usually do the majority of your work using a V-tool. I soon learned though that if the design calls for repeating arcs or circles it’s really important to have the proper sweep and width of chisel/gouge to accomplish that. Quick review; the sweep refers to the arc of the chisel where #1 is flat and as the arc increases the numbers go up (#11 is almost a U shape). The width is expressed in millimeters. I’ll explain the process I used with pictures and captions, there may be other ways to go about it but this worked well for me. First work was done on paper. After drawing lines that represented the space available I drew a circle in the center that space based on the size of the gouge I would use. That was a #8/13 which yielded a 11/16″ circle. A compass was then set from the center of that circle to the outer edge of the space available to draw the outer circle. Next, another 11/16″ circle was drawn; it is located on the center line and just touches the outer circle drawn with the complass. At this point I set a divider from the center points of the 11/16″ circles. This measurement is referred to as a unit. Sounds confusing but I believe the pictures will clarify it for you!

So there it is, everyone always asks how much time did that take and each side of the frame took just under an hour and a half; so about 6 hours total time. For me though, I try not to be overly concerned with how long a project takes; rather my goal is to meet the challenge I’ve set for myself. Not having this be my “day job” allows me the freedom to have that mindset. I’m always happy to share what I’ve learned so if you have any questions feel free to contact me. Next will be finishing the frame which will probably be several coats of black Casein followed by shellac and wax. I’ll share the results of that as well.

About woodworksbyjohn

I'm a retired woodshop teacher. I build one of a kind furniture pieces and custom picture frames. You can see some of my currently available work, boxes, carvings through my Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/WoodworksbyJohn?ref=si_shop Contact me about your project -- always up for the challenge of unique work.
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1 Response to LayOut and Carving the Guilloche Design

  1. Pingback: 2020 Ends – 2021 Begins! | Woodworks by John

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