This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
Our design shows a mantel clock-case of simple design and inexpensive construction, such as could easily be made at home by an amateur, without any elaborate outfit. The working drawing is the actual size, but the opening for the face must be made according to the size of the particular clock that may be bought. The ordinary size is 4 1/2 inches diameter. It is best to make the opening a trifle less, so that the metal rim will come inside the wood. A sketch is given herewith of the back of the clock, showing two vertical brackets (a and b) which project backward to the same depth as the clock works. If there is to be one only on each side of the works, use wood 2 1/2 or 3 inches thick; but if it is easier to saw out two pieces for each side, let the wood be inch thick only. More economical would be to leave the works open behind, boxing the sides and top only, as shown (c, d, e) in the sketch; E can be used as a shelf on which to set a vase or other ornament.
A more elaborate fitting would be to have the case solid at the sides as well as the front, by tapering all three pieces toward the top, the front taper beginning at the top of the dial. But in order to understand this you must consult a cabinet maker, as regular machinery is required for joining the pieces and producing fine joints.
The same base, f, is used for both styles of clock-case, not projecting at all behind, as the clock must fit against the wall.
For the alarm-clock case use wood 1 1/2 inches thick, which should be moulded on the top to take away the plain edge. Let the sides and top shelf of the box at the back be 1/2 or 7/8 of an inch thick. These can be screwed or mitred on, or even nailed The little shelves at each side of the base are as useful as the top shelf. The base should be 7/8 or I inch thick, or even more if required to preserve good proportion. An egg and dart pattern in the Byzantine style can be used on the moulding of the base. The egg is treated flatter than the Greek, and the dart is more realistic, on account of being worked out more in detail. A back to cover the clock works may easily be added with hinges, to form a door.
The drawing should be very carefully placed on the wood and traced over blue paper. Go around outside the lines of the design with a large veining tool; then dig out the background, cutting down 1/4 of an inch at least. Remove roughly at first, and as those who are executing this model have probably followed the other stages of our work in the Byzantine style (see No. 3, Vol. 1), they will realise how necessary it is to use independence of treatment; for instance, to lower the background more near the beading and the head of the animal, so that they will project as much as possible; also near the scroll, so that the leaves will curve easily into the background. The joint of the leg should be heavy and prominent, and taper toward the paw, which must be heavier. The scroll goes under the leg and must sink gracefully, so as not to have the appearance of cutting through the leg.
There may be a margin of beads on the clock. First divide the space to contain the beads into squares with the veining tool; then with a flat gouge, held concave side down, round the surface of the squares, first having taken off the corners with a quick - curve gouge. Let the tool marks show on the beading.
The head should be very carefully treated. Take the 1/4 -inch gouge, and, with the convex side down, remove the wood from the tip of the nose toward the eye, to give the hollow around the latter. That leaves the forehead in higher relief. Take a fluter and commence at the tip of the ear and outline it sharply. Round the forehead off well down toward both the ear and the nose. Let the farther ear go flatly into the background, hollowing it out a little for naturalness of effect. Let the neck ope rom under the ear toward the body, so that there will be a chance for the scroll to pass over it. Use a flat gouge for this. Then taper the body, so that it disappears behind the large scroll and leaves, which, in their turn, must pass under the paws. The background should be cut very deep between the paws, and, indeed, all round the animal, with tools to fit the curves, so that the figure will come out strong. And the leg should be rounded a little. The paws should have deep cuts between the claws - a fluter being used - and the spurs should be quite prominent. There should be as much undercutting as possible, so as to cast deep shadows. The tongue should be tapered in towards the mouth; at the tip it swells into a leaf. Around the eyes and over them there should be strong cuts made with the fluter or a large veining tool.
Side View of the Carved Clock-case.
Take a gouge with a quick curve and dig in a little to suggest the bony structure in the joint of the leg. After the body of the dragon has been rounded off, take a small fluter and make curves on the body to suggest scales, as shown in the design. Have very strong tool-marked edges on the dragon.
We now come to the scroll. Take a fluter and go around where the two scrolls join and cut clearly; take a flat gouge and round them off at this joining line. With the fluter carve the leaves; let veins and all lines on them fade out towards the curve where the scrolls meet, so that there will be a delicate, soft appearance there. Make the background wavy by using first the convex, then the concave side of the gouge; a great deal of undercutting is required in this design.
The clock may be of any kind of wood, but mahogany or oak is best to work upon.
Karl voN Rydingsvard.
Back View of the Carved Clock-case
Modern English Wood-carvers.
1. - The Late W. H. Grimwood.