re-using, recycling, and redeeming old wood

#29 Woodcarving: Scandinavian flat-plane

Scandinavian flat-plane carving.

“The Scandinavian flat-plane style of  woodcarving is a style of figure carving. The figures are carved in large flat planes, created primarily using a carving knife. Tool marks are left in the carving and very little (if any) rounding or sanding is done. Swedish-born American artist, Emil Janel was considered by many to be the one of the best of this genre.” (Wikipedia)

Scandinavian flat-plane ala Harley Refsal

One of my favorite Scandinavian style carvers is Harley Refsal. He has followed well in the tradition of Emil Janel.

Refsal Scandinavian flat-plane: The Farm Wife

Shadows and clean lines make a visually pleasing presentation for a flat-plane piece.

Farmer side view 1

Farm wife side view 2

A minimum of cuts used to create the shadow lines requires long, smooth strokes of a very sharp knife.

Farmer side view 2

Farm wife side view 1

The paint job also adds to the appeal of these flat plain carvings.  A light wash of color allows the wood grain to come through as can be seen in the side views above.

Out looking at his crops.

Looking too.

Facial details, “Crops look good, Ollie.”

“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”  Psalm 19:1


5 responses

  1. These are cute! I like the minimal details.

    November 20, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    • It certainly does give them some charm, doesn’t it Mel. However, the style isn’t as easy as it looks. One has to have a certain level of confidence to be able to make the longer, sweeping cuts that make the piece look so simple. Isn’t that the way it is with so much of life. It is always so enjoyable to watch and “expert” do their job. They make it look so effortless, so pleasurable. I remember asking my mom to teach me to knit a few months ago – again for the umpteenth time. Man, that is a whole lot harder than carving something. I got so many knots, dropped loops, odd sizes to the rows. I’ll stick with carving and watch those who are “expert” in their field enjoy what they do. That means a word smith like you as well. Thanks for looking.

      November 20, 2010 at 2:48 pm

  2. Tricia Byrne

    Where can one buy them?

    December 7, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    • Greetings from Beijing, China, Tricia. Thank you for your interest. Presently there are none available. And the carvings which are available would be worth less than the shipping costs to the States. Will post when more are available. Again, thanks for the interest. K Karver

      December 7, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    • Hi Trace, So sorry for the long delay in replying. I have been in China for the past two years. Poor Internet, limited time, lack of wood resource. I hope to return to the States in June, return to carving there and posting on the blog. When some characters are finished I would let you know. Thanks for looking in. John. Zai jian.

      May 23, 2016 at 7:10 am

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