Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My latest carving project - The Roman Soldier

This one has given me quite the challenge....to reproduce one section of a three tile set depicting a reclining Roman soldier. It comes from a private home in California, and was missing the left 6" tile, which is the head, chest, arm, and hand. Luckily the company that originally created the panel, The American Encaustic Tile Company, preserved the full image in a catalog that was issued in 1902. Joe Taylor, from the Tile Heritage Foundation, sent me a high resolution copy of the catalog page, and I re-sized it in photoshop.

The project manager in charge of the restoration of the house sent me the two original tiles to help me with the depth and details of recreating the missing piece. Since the original carving needs to be created larger than the finished tile to allow for the shrinkage of the clay (our clay shrinks 11%), it didn't take me long to realize that I wouldn't be able to carve just the missing piece and expect it to match up exactly with the existing tile next to it...so I decided that I needed to carve the full panel.

I scanned the original tiles and enlarged them 11% to match the catalog image, and I was ready to start carving.....almost. My carving material of choice is wax, and I had to pour a very large blank wax slab to accommodate a 6 3/4" x 20 1/4" piece. I layout the dimensions and carve down around them as a starting point. Then take the enlarged photoshopped images, lay them on the wax, and trace the main features of the image. The lines are transferred onto the wax, and I use them as the starting point of my carving.

Carving the details in the foot. More to show and tell in tomorrow's post!!

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Blogger Josje said...

That looks fabulous Linda! I really enjoy seeing the process of your work.

September 25, 2010 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Linda Ellett said...

Thanks Josje! I appreciate you taking a look and commenting!

September 25, 2010 at 9:54 AM  

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