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November 19, 2017

Archives for May 2011

Woodworking Ideas & Patterns from Santa Maria del Fiore Duomo

“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought.”
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)…Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet, cleric.

Woodworking ideas and patterns from Santa Maria del Fiore.

Woodworking ideas & woodworking patterns gleaned from Santa Maria del Fiore Duomo can be appreciated by students of the woodworking craft. These unique and refined woodworking ideas & woodworking patterns can be learned from the Italian master craftsmen who worked in marble in the 1870’s.

The beauty and elegance of the scene captures the imagination of this woodworker as so many woodworking skills are called upon to create such a masterpiece. The overall architectural design is simply a gem. The proportions are classical. I think you will agree with me when I say that it is one thing to draw such a beautiful design on paper. Then again, it is still entirely another thing for a skilled craftsman to create this scene by hand. Yet, here it is, a masterpiece for all to enjoy.

 

What woodworking ideas can you find in these photos? How would a woodworker create the spiraled columns out of wood? How would a woodworker make the curved moulding behind the statue?

What woodworking patterns can a woodworker find in this photo? We can see two types and sizes of spiraled columns. Notice how each column has a left and right pattern. Also, how could woodworking patterns play a role in the mosaic inlay on the curved wall? (The band saw crosscut sled and the bandsaw miter sled would each get a great workouts if wood inlay was applied to the wall.)

How would a craftsman build the curved wall behind the statue? What role would woodworking patterns play in designing and constructing the domed ceiling?

Notice how the pediment is arched and symmetrical. The cherub in the center is framed with a circular moulding while carvings adorn both sides of the pediment facade. When we study the dentil moulding, notice how the fronts of each dentil is curved. There is also a notched moulding beneath the pediment that that is arched. These notches create shadows that attract ones attention.

Woodworking ideas and woodworking patterns from Santa Maria del Fiore.

What woodworking tools would a master woodworker use to create this scene? Obviously, power tools like the table saw, band saw, and wood lathes would be employed. Hand tools such as carving tools would be needed as well as sculpting gouges when carving the capitals. However, think about this. What layout tools would be employed? It is easy to see how dividers and trammel points would be necessary for an accurate layout. Can you also see how it would be important to have woodworking patterns for woodturning the columns. A woodworker would also benefit from implementing woodworking patterns when cutting the curved work beneath the triangular pediment. Here is where a band saw would be useful.

Woodworking ideas can be captured from this photograph as these architectural elements exude a wealth of unique and specialized knowledge of our craft. It is simply a joy to witness the refined skills from the master craftsmen that have long since passed. It is their ideas, patterns, and love of the craft that continues to live on and inspire other craftsman. It is up to those of us that care to follow in their footsteps and to carry the torch for the future generations to come.

 

Recommended articles:


Decorative Inlay Patterns for Custom Hardwood Inlays

Santa Maria del Fiore…Duomo Cathedral of Florence, Italy


 

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Fine Woodworking Patterns for the Skilled Woodworker

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”
John Keats…English lyric poet (1795-1821)

Patterns for Woodworking from the Santa Maria del Fiore

Fine woodworking patterns for the skilled woodworker can easily be be found on the facade of the Santa Maria del Fiore Duomo (Cathedral) in Florence, Italy. What we are studying in this posting is merely a sampling of the pure genius of the overall architectural design. There is just so much detail and layout. Then of course there are the skilled craftsman who created these ornamental elements and then fit them together.

Fine woodworking patterns like these can definitely be a appreciated by the skilled woodworker especially when we consider that the facade of the church is marble. Keep in mind the overall design and the amount of layout for the section shown. To simplify things we will break the components into smaller details.

Patterns for Woodworking 3 from Santa Maria del Fiore Duomo.

Notice how the mitered moulding creates a frame and adds depth to the sculpted leaves and the carved youthful face. This ornamental square is one of three squares. Each square is centered under a gothic arch of carrera and prato marble. Imagine the time, patience, and dedication it takes for a skilled woodworker to create a woodworking pattern such as this carving.

Patterns for woodworking 2 from the Santa Maria del fiore

Fine woodworking patterns can be derived from the above picture that reveals three gothic arches. Notice how the frontal arch plays off of the white and green arch in the background. The front arches also form curved triangular patterns that create borders for the sculpted flowers.

Patterns for Woodworking 4 from the Santa Maria del Fiore Duomo.

Fine woodworking patterns are shown in the mosaic inlay. The mosaic inlay is part of a base that supports a marble statue. Take a look and see how the inlay is comprised of various triangles and squares of contrasting colors. This repetitive design is a wonderful choice for an eye-catching custom woodworking pattern. It surely would make for a striking wood inlay banding for the skilled woodworker.

We have only touched upon a few of the architectural design elements that can be implemented for fine woodworking patterns by the skilled woodworker. Yet, all of the woodworking skills required are based upon woodworking basics.

1.)What other patterns catch your eye and imagination?
2.)What woodworking skills would be required to create the design elements?
3.) What woodworking projects could you create using these woodworking patterns?

 

Listen to the bells of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy.



The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Decorative Woodworking Patterns of Architectural Millwork & Custom Moulding

“You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him to find it within himself.”
Galileo Galilei…Physicist, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher. (1564-1642)

Architectural detail, Santa Maria del Fiore Duomo, Florence Italy

In the article woodworkers can discover decorative woodworking patterns from the architectural millwork and custom moulding of the beautiful Santa Maria del Fiore Duomo in Florence, Italy. Upon seeing this cathedral, I instantly knew this was without question, the most breathtaking piece of architecture I have ever witnessed. Now, keep in mind that these stunning details from the church’s facade are of marble, however the same design layouts can be used in the woodworking shop to create similar millwork. The architectural design and the level of craftsmanship is simply awe-inspiring. It is for this reason I’d like to share it with my fellow woodworkers and finish carpenters.

Work on the facade started in 1871 and was finished in 1887. Take a minute to think about the amount of planning and effort that went into designing the facade. What means and equipment was used to gather the marble from the quarry? How did men shape the marble for the architectural millwork and what tools did they use to create the custom moulding? What type of scaffolding and hoisting apparatus was implemented to aid the craftsman as they worked on the church’s facade? While it is astonishing to witness the finished product, it is equally intriguing to imagine the Santa Maria del Fiore when it was a construction site in the middle of Florence.

It stands to reason that men were quite busy excavating the white marble in Carrara, Italy at this time. The marble would then need to be shaped by skilled craftsmen in their shops to the architect’s specifications and then transported into Florence. Once at the Cathedral, imagine the necessary care taken as the heavy marble was hoisted up the scaffolding with rope and wooden pulleys. What source of power was used to raise the marble millwork upwards? Was the material raised by oxen, horses, or did men use winches to pull up the marble? One’s imagination automatically takes over once in the presence of the Santa Maria del Fiore as it is overwhelmingly beautiful.

Decorative custom millwork, Santa Maria del Fiore Duomo, Florence Italy

The architectural components are simply elegant and yet they are anything but simple. Check out the following: The dentil moulding is actually coved instead of being cut square. The spiraled marble columns are embellished with a repetitive design of cross shaped, green marble inlays. The finely sculpted floral millwork on the left adds a wonderfully tasteful element to the entire composition. The angel in the centerpiece is framed within an elongated hexagon. Notice how this feature adds a three dimensional element to the facade by creating negative space as does the framed box with carvings and mouldings below.

As a woodworker studies the architectural millwork and custom moulding of the Santa Maria del Fiore, he or she will naturally wonders how this work could be duplicated in the woodworking shop. The decorative woodworking patterns of the columns could be turned on a wood lathe, carved to the spiral design, and then the cross shaped wood inlay could then be inserted into place. The coved dentils seem easy enough to create and apply as does the framework of the moulding. Next it is simply a matter of sculpting the floral millwork and then the angel. Simple enough! (yeah…right!)

Keep in mind that this is just a sampling of the facade of the Santa Maria del Fiore and yet there is plenty of detail and craftsmanship in these examples. Understanding that this work was done by hand gives a woodworker a great appreciation for the skills and the dedication of the men who worked on this project. The magnificent Duomo is a work of art and a testament to the skills of these men. The Santa Maria del Fiore along with the genius of these craftsmen will be visited often and appreciated for many years to come.

Recommended article: Decorative Inlay Patterns for Custom Hardwood Inlays


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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