- Set Contents
- Letter Carving
- Chris Pye
We are pleased to offer three sets of letter carving tools made to the specifications of master carver Chris Pye. The tools are crafted at Forge de Saint Juery (Auriou) and are exceptionally well made.
The sets provide a hand picked range of useful tools so you can get carving right out of the box. Chris Pye teaches the traditional English method of letter carving, and the tool selection of the Auriou letter carving sets reflect his years of experience carving.
The gouge set contains six fishtail gouges and one double bevel chisel. The gouges are used for carving the rounded portions of letter forms, as well as serifs on both rounded and straight letters.
The chisel set is made up entirely of double beveled chisels. These are used for defining the straight portions of letter forms. The range of sizes let you carve the straights in a single clean stroke.
The full 14 piece set contains both 7 piece sets, along with our very own, American made carving tool roll to keep your tools safe and organized.
In all three sets you will notice Chris' preference for Alongee style carving tools. The Alongee style gives a lighter tool, but more importantly the tapered sides provide the clearance needed for carving incised lettering.
All of Auriou's production takes place at Forge de Saint Juery, in southern France about 200 miles west of Marseille. Michael Auriou revived his family brand in 2008 and in doing so, remains the 4th generation of Auriou family tool and rasp makers. With his name on the line its not difficult to understand why he has always placed customers first, and economics second. The Chris Pye carving tools continue Auriou's wonderful attention to detail, and are are a great way to get started carving, or complete your masterpiece.
Auriou carving tools are Made in France, optional carving roll Made in USA.
7 piece letter carving gouge set
Contains all the gouges you need for carving serifs and round letters in a large range of sizes. Set includes:
7 piece letter carving chisel set
- #1 x 14mm (5/8") Fishtail Chisel
- #4 x 10mm (3/8") Fishtail Gouge
- #5 x 11mm (9/16") Straight Gouge
- #5 x 20mm (11/16") Alongee Gouge
- #6 x 10mm (3/8") Straight Gouge
- #6 x 13mm (9/16") Alongee Gouge
- #6 x 22mm (7/8") Alongee Gouge
Contains double bevel chisels for carving the straight portions of letter forms in a single clean cut. Set includes:
Full 14 piece letter carving set
- #1 x 15mm (5/8in.)
- #1 x 20mm (11/16in.)
- #1 x 25mm (1in.)
- #1 x 30mm (1 3/16in.)
- #1 x 35mm (1 3/8in.)
- #1 x 40mm (1 1/2in.)
- #1 x 45mm (1 3/4in.)
contains both 7 piece sets and a sturdy American made carving roll.
Chisels made in France, carving roll made in USA.
The English method of letter carving as taught by Chris Pye uses double bevel chisels to define the straight sides of letter forms. Tools are chosen to fit the entire length of the feature and you carve them with one stroke on each side of the letter. The basic letter height is therefore determined by the width of a chisel plus a bit at the top and bottom areas
. Wider tools are used for the long verticals, while narrower tools are used for the smaller, straight parts of a letter. This gives you a very crisp carving, and with practice, very quick progress.
Serifs and curved letters are carved using Alongee or fishtail gouges. The Alongee pattern tools provide extra clearance.
Chris' method of letter carving is more tool intensive than simply tracing the letter with a V-tool, but produces exceptionally crisp lettering, and allows for a wider range of effects. One of the things Chris has always taught is that learning proper technique takes practice, and that if you are serious about learning to carve, you will need to invest not only in tools, but also in time.
Taking a class is the perfect way to learn carving. Chris Pye teaches carving in Maine at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship during the summer, and in England during the year. If Maine, or England are a little too far out of the way, we also stock Chris's excellent videos, including his letter carving video(see below) or consider subscribing to his on-line video school
which has both the lettercarving video, more stuff on lettercarving, and lots more.
Chris' On-line school
is how I (Joel) am learning to carve, and for someone with a million things on their plate it has been excellent way to both motivate myself, and to learn and practice at my own pace with top notch guidance as needed.
Michel Auriou is a 4th Generation tool and rasp maker. In 2008, to the collective joy of the woodworking community he revived his family business, which is again producing rasps, carving tools, and stone working tools, at Forge de Saint Jeury, about 220 miles west of Marseille in southern France.
Although the company has gone through several incarnations since its founding in 1856, one thing has never changed, and that is the absolute top quality of their tools. Michel sums it up like this: "We are customer led not price led."
At Forge de Saint Jeurey a team of 7 hand forges, grinds and hand stitches ever carving tool, rasp, and stone working tool. Michel himself is an adept craftsman, and travels the world promoting his family brand. We were lucky to meet up with him at Woodworking in America, and he quickly had us trying our hand at stitching rasps. All we can say is our chapeau's are off for these guys; their craftsmanship is outstanding and their tools will stand the test of time.
Chris Pye has an astonishing list of clients; HRH The Prince of Wales, for instance, is a repeat customer. So when we say Chris is a master carver we're not joking. Considering his formidable chops we are humbled that Chris now spends most of his time teaching the art of woodcarving to students through classes, videos, books, and his very cool web based video-school.
Chris' style of teaching is based around both a sculptural understanding of the work, and technical skills that are practiced until they become fluid motion. There are no shortcuts in Chris's method, but he has an enormous depth of knowledge to share, and with patience, Chris can teach you the techniques needed to produce carvings at the highest level.
In using Chris' method, the purchase of a set of tools is preliminary to the serious study of carving. Although the only guaranteed benefactor is the iron monger, Chris backs up his position by providing concrete suggestions about which tools are necessary and which are not, so you can buy with confidence.
Over the years, Chris has worked with several top quality manufacturers, such as Ashley Iles, Norton Abrasives, and Auriou. Chris' professional approach to carving techniques are reflected in the tools he has collaborated on. The 2-1/2 gouges by Ashley Iles are a perfect example: Chris worked with Barry Iles to create a range of custom gouges in a nearly flat 2-1/2 sweep perfect for undercutting and surface finishing.
We have known Chris for many years, and he has always been committed to furthering the craft of wood carving, leading by example and supporting those on their way up. If you have the chance, we highly recommend his woodcarving classes, books, and on-line lessons