Woodcarving for Furniture Makers

Mary May
October 15-19

This class is ideal for woodworkers who are interested in embellishing furniture with classic carved elements. Mary’s instruction starts with the essentials—how to sharpen woodcarving tools, cut in the correct grain direction, and design carvings in three dimensions. Subsequently, she demonstrates the entire process of designing, laying out, and carving shells, fans, acanthus leaves, and ball-and-claw feet with mallets and gouges. With her methodical, step-by-step guidance, each student completes several projects. In addition to the essentials of safe tool handling and sharpening, students learn how to accomplish clean, crisp cuts; define overlapping elements; and make a design appear deeper than it actually is.

Mary May is a self-employed woodcarver in Charleston, SC, with more than 26 years of professional experience in carving architectural ornament, custom furniture, and sculpture. She originally studied with master woodcarver Konstantinos Papadakis in Minneapolis, and later furthered her skills in England, Greece, and Malaysia. Mary has been a featured guest on the PBS series “The Woodwright’s Shop” and teaches throughout the U.S. and in Europe. She has an online video school and her new book, Carving the Acanthus Leaf, is now available through Lost Art Press. Mary’s website is marymaycarving.com.

Open to all.


Tuition: $785

May 2017 IMG 20171206 100312460 HDRRococo-style shell carved by Mary May







 May 2017 ball and clawPhiladelphia-style ball-and-claw foot carved by Mary May