Monthly Archives: May 2011

Pelican Shield Carving

As part of the preparation for making the plaque for the Form of 2011 I have created a small carving featuring the pelican emblem from the SPS shield.  My plan for the 2011 plaque is to do a painted finish on the carving, and I wanted to have an example to show students  so that they would have an easier time imagining how their design ideas will translate into the finished product.  It is necessary to wait until the Sixth Form year is complete before finalizing the design for the Form of 2011 plaque, to be sure to allow for any significant events to occur right up through graduation.  For this reason, most of the design process and all of the carving will be done after the students have graduated. This small plaque will serve as a visual  representative of the process that I will be completing after the Form of 2011 graduates.

Over the past few weeks I designed the pelican shield plaque and completed the carving.  My initial idea for the shield design came from the  logo that was designed for the School’s 150th anniversary in 2006.  This logo deconstructs the School shield, pulling each element into its own individual shield – the book, the crossed swords, and the pelican.  I started with the idea of the pelican symbol alone on the shield (see the small shield emblem at the top of the cross in the logo at the left) and developed the design, adapting the pelican symbol to more closely reflect its origins in medieval bestiaries.  Once completed the design was transferred onto the wood – American basswood – the same type of wood I will use to create the 2011 plaque.  I cut the shape of the shield out using a scroll saw, and filed the edges smooth. The carving was done by hand using a variety sizes and styles of carving tools – starting out with larger profiles and working down to very small ones for the fine details.

The painted finish is done by building up multiple layers of paint and then adding translucent layers of colors over these base colors.  This glazing effect adds richness to the base colors and accents the depth of the relief of the carving, making the imagery easier to ‘read’ from a distance.  Although this plaque has a very simple color scheme, following the original design of the School shield, the form plaques will be painted in a full color range to accent and enhance the design of the carving.

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