From time to time a dazzling carved Acanthus leaf shows up on my Instagram feed and I immediately know it’s from Mary May. Mary is a master carver with a big following on-line following, but Instagram just showcases the finished (or nearly-finished product). It doesn’t do justice to Mary’s ability to teach you what she knows. In “Carving the Acanthus Leaf,” she makes a compelling case that learning to carve the acanthus leaf is an important rite of passage for carvers. The Acanthus leaf has a storied place in carving, popular in ancient Greece and the Roman and Byzantine Empires and rediscovered in Renaissance and Baroque period Europe. It has remained the most commonly carved decorative element in history. The book offers separate chapters on different types of acanthus leaves beyond the basics - “Italian Renaissance with an Added Twist,” Scandinavian-Style Leaf,” and shows the leaf in the context of woodturning, on mouldings, on cabriole legs and other woodwork. “Greek Acanthus Leaf,” French Rococo Leaf,” and “Baroque Leaf.” The book also provides a helpful mini-course in getting started as a carver, with tips about equipment, woodgrain, layout and sharpening techniques. You’ll also get a real sense of Mary as a person via her stories about her journey as a carver.
Hardbound and printed in the customary durable Lost Arts way. Richly illustrated by Mary's own drawings (you'll see the connection between her drawings and carvings) and lush, full color photographs. 8 1/2 x 11, 314 pages.
"This book will certainly increase the number of acanthus carvers in this world." -- Bob Eaton
Pages: 336 Binding: HardPublisher: Lost Art Press