Monday, July 20, 2009

Can Flat Plane Carving Have Any Roundness To It ?

One question Iam ask hundreds of times is this question .. Can a flat plane figure have any roundness to its shape ? .. Well lets let the masters of flat plane show us ..
Observe the three carvings below ... They are Axel Peterssons .. Sevens and Harley Refsal .. All master's of flat plane carving .. Now observe the figures closely .. Is there any roundness at all in their work .. The answer is of course there is .. look at the head of the figure in the grey suit .. doesnt his head have roundness ? Is it completely flat in nature ? No ..of course not ... Look at Axel Peterssons figure of the gentleman with the cane .. Is his hat rounded at the top ? Yes of course it is ...
So can a flat plane figure have any roundness at all ? YES ! It Can ...
The confusion lies in the term Flat Plane .. So often people associate the term with everything has to be 100 % flat .. no exceptions and thats just not true ..
Flat Plane carving is more a style of carving rather then a absolute term ... The old style carvers had access to few tools and primitive style .. and If you observe the carvings below .. you see a certain style of rough knife work that is the trademark of flat plane carvers .. The large or small flat knife cuts that create the character of the figure in the face and body alike .. And then finishes with little sanding and the knife cuts visible to the observer .. The style is the key .. not the word flat ..
So if anyone tells you .. You cant see any roundness in a flat plane carving .. Tell them the masters work tells different


  1. I should have guessed this was your blog Gene! I watch your youtube videos all of the time and am very interested in learing more about your style of carving. I am new at carving but I hardly think of anything else. Feel free to look at my blog and see what I have been carving :)

  2. Hi Gene! Wondering who did the carving of the grey suit man?

    1. Luke I know it's almost two years since you asked, but the grey suit man looks like Sven Gunnarsson's work. My guess is that's who Gene meant above when he wrote "Seven." (Autocorrect strikes again?) Anyway Google "Sven Gunnarsson woodcarving" and you'll find tons in the style. He loved to do politicians in suits. He even did one of Castro that he gave to him. (I'd love to see that one.)