Charleston, S.C., is often overlooked. In the 18th century, it was an important place, on par with Philadelphia and Boston as a center of culture and furniture making. It’s still a wonderful place to visit, full of old mansions, excellent examples of period pieces and great seafood. It’s home to several period furniture makers, and a carver you should know about, Mary May.
Mary has studied under some of the finest carvers in the world, and has been carving professionally for many years. Fortunately for those who want to learn this style of carving, she also teaches. She’s been a guest on Roy Underhill’s television show, and her classes at The Woodwright’s School and at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking quickly fill to capacity. We heard from her last week that she is now offering classes in carving, and some of the furniture makers she works with will be teaching classes on other topics in her own school.
You can get more information about these classes from her web site, where you can also purchase DVDs about carving specific details, such as the ball-and-claw foot, Newport shells, or Acanthus leaves on a cabriole leg.
You won’t find a better qualified teacher, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a nicer city to visit than Charleston.