Popular Woodworking in America: Interview with Mary May

Mary May has been a professional woodcarver for more than 25 years. She studied with a variety of European master carvers to learn the traditional techniques that have been used for centuries. Mary now works with architects, designers and furniture makers, helping to add ornate details to their work. She teaches at various woodworking schools...

Mary May

Video Short with Mary May

As editors, we search our two web sites ( and constantly for information for the online extras portion of all  articles and most columns – the information, we hope, is both relevant and interesting. While searching the sites, I often come across books, articles and DVDs that have scads of interesting information, including...

Mary May Panel_bench

Video: Watch Mary May Carve a Linenfold Panel

Woodworkers are visual people. Tell a woodworker how to do something (myself included) and you may have to tell them more than a couple of times. If, however, you show a woodworker how things are done, once is often enough. (That’s why magazines use photos.) I am particularly this way when it comes to...


Acanthus Carving & Windsor Chairmaking

The October 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine is now available in our store (in both print and digital versions). Inside (along with many other techniques, tools and projects) you’ll find South Carolina-based carver Mary May‘s article with step-by-step photo instructions on carving an acanthus leaf – a classic motif that originated as an...


Video: Sharpen the Tricky V-chisel

I spent Saturday watching and photographing carver Mary May teach a class on ball-and-claw feet at the Woodwright’s School in Pittsboro, N.C. Mary, a traditionally trained professional carver, lives and works outside Charleston, S.C., and teaches carving classes all over the country – you can see her at Woodworking in America this year. And...

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Modern Master Reproduces a Period Master

Readers in the New York area shouldn’t miss the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibit “Duncan Phyfe: Master Cabinetmaker in New York,” which is slated to run through May 6, 2012. Whether you make it to the exhibit or not, take a look at the museum’s video of Maine woodworker Allan Breed turning and carving...


Stealing Away to the Shop

Wrapping up the last details on a piece I’ve been building for the April issue, I had a nice surprise last weekend: Stealing away a few minutes while my kids took a nap (or a least pretended to), I headed out to the shop, grabbed an old carving knife and started experimenting with a...


Two Cherries Five Small Carving Tools & Leather Pouch

Here's a great gift idea for the beginning wood carver! Have you ever needed a very small carving tool for working in limited access or on very small pieces of work? Finally, Two Cherries has provided the solution! Small octagon handles fit comfortably in the hand, and the balance of handle to blade is perfect.