Student carvers return to their studios

All the tutors in the Historic Carving Department are delighted to welcome our student carvers back into the studios after the summer break – with a special welcome to all the new students and first years on our BA and postgraduate courses!

Of course, things are a little different this year. Throughout the Art School, extensive measures have been put in place to protect students and staff from Covid-19 and our seminars and lectures have gone online. Everyone, in all parts of the Art School, has to wear a protective face covering, we are all frequently sanitising our hands and ensuring we keep distanced from each other.

Despite the changes, we are really enjoying being back and are excited to be teaching and studying again.

So, how did the first week go? Paul Flanagan, a first year student on our Woodcarving & Gilding BA course, has been keeping a record of his progress on his Instagram account @paulflanaganartist, and we’ve borrowed his photos to share on the Historic Carving blog (thanks Paul!).

Day 1

First year students arrived at their own dedicated work stations in the newly refurbished Woodcarving Studio. This is probably the only time they’ll see the studio looking so neat and empty!

Day 2

It doesn’t take long for Paul’s work station to gather a carver’s tools and equipment! Today the students learnt how to sharpen their chisels – a fundamentally important skill. They used a fine Japanese stone and strop to get a mirror finish and coat the bevel of the gouge with Sharpie pen so they can check for any low spots when they put it over the stone.


Day 3

Students started their basic joinery training and amongst other tools, learnt how to  use an impressive Japanese saw.

Day 4

Basic joinery continued and the students learnt different joinery techniques.

Day 5

Today the first-year carvers had an online Art Histories lecture. Art Histories programmes are integral to all the courses at the Art School and give students a comprehensive understanding of historical and contemporary critical theories. On the Historic Carving courses, students learn a detailed and materials-based approach to Art History, The History of British Architecture, The History of Style, and The History of Carving Techniques.

So that’s the first week on the Woodcarving & Gilding course completed! In week 2 the students study chipcarving, learning about the different types of cut that each tool makes in the wood, and how the shape and size of the
chisel dictates the pattern. Read about their progress here.


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