Those of you familiar with the U.S.S Constitution may recognize the featured photo as one of the boarding planks on the Constitution.
It’s been a frequently carved design for me since I first saw it, and I’ve used it to grace chest and box tops over the years. Despite being an intricate design, it is not a hard carving project.
If you’ve read some of my other posts, you know that I plunder designs. I love to alter things, pull elements out of context, and place them in new settings. It’s a common technique for artisans and artists. The boarding plank design’s most salient feature, for me, was the head.
At some time in the ’90s, a client wanted something carved on the end of a tiller; the usual Turk’s Head knot was not what he wanted. I plundered the boarding plank for the design, and the client sailed away very pleased. Here is the prototype for the tiller head:
Later, I again used the head for some quickly carved walking stick heads. Never meant to be fully featured carvings the stick heads were “sketches” that I could carve and sell as I worked. They sold well at boat shows.
Usable design elements are in plain sight within other designs. Plunder away!