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 carving. While I do believe that you have to put chisel to wood and get started, and that as you practice you will get better, it helps to have someone proficient at carving actually show you the way.
In the August 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine (issue #205), Mary May – a proficient and masterful carver – shares the steps necessary to carve a linenfold panel as shown above. (Pick up a copy at the newsstand if you’re not yet a subscriber.) Below is a short video in which Mary shows some of the techniques used as she carves a linenfold panel. (If you would like to see more, visit Mary’s web site where you can catch up on her blog, learn loads more about carving and check out her online school where you can learn to carve for $10 per month, or grab a free three-day trial.)