New Chapter: Spell Panels
How to become a better engraver. And a better friend.
When I engraved the Romanian cupboard with spells, I first needed to devise a spell that stops a person from shitting their pants repeatedly.
Engraving a few sample boards is one thing. Engraving a finished piece of wood that is going on the front of a cupboard is another. I was so cautious and scared and constantly Kegeling as I engraved the cupboard’s doors that I thought I might accidentally carve the asshole symbol from Kurt Vonnegut’s “Breakfast of Champions.”
Luckily, I made it through the engraving process on the cupboard with only one flub. But I want to help readers of “The American Peasant” avoid the near panic attack I had when I began engraving. And so I am adding a chapter to the book’s Table of Contents on “Spell Panels.”
Spell Panels are just something I’ve made up. But I’m glad I did because they are a great way to practice with the engraving tools and play with different designs. A spell panel is just a 6" x 6" piece of straight-grained wood. I’ve been using basswood and poplar. Straight grain is the secret to clean cuts with the engraving tools.
I first clean up the Spell Panels with a jack plane. Then I clamp a panel in my face vise and get to work with a race knife, timber scribe and the grooving compass I’ve been developing with blacksmith Peter Ross. I’m not laying out the spell beforehand in pencil. I’m just trying to fill each panel with a meaningful spell (and always a good spell; I have no interest in bad magic). And I’m trying to find a groove or a flow.
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