A Rose by any other Name

Here are the tools I use to carve period instrument rosettes.  Featured are two chisels (a 2mm and a 3mm) that are sharpened and stropped frequently, my geeky optivisor with a 2x magnification lens in place (I wish I had started using this 11 years ago!), a self healing cutting mat 18×24 inches made by Dahl, and of course a printed pattern (in this case one of a historical 16th century Georg Gerle rosette).  The one important item that you can’t see in this image is the paper disc that is glued exactly opposite (the inside of the lute) to the pattern I am cutting out from the top side. This important item keeps the small pieces from breaking. I use acid free heavy drawing stock paper which is soaked in hot hide glue before applying to the inside of the lute.  This will remain in place for the life of the lute. The pattern is printed on cheap copy paper and glued to the top with a weak mixture of hot hide glue to facilitate removal once the cuts are completed. I enjoy carving rosettes by hand. I find it to be a peaceful and meditative process. I find it so satisfying to observe historical rosettes that have survived (like the Georg Gerle in the Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna) and actually understand how they were carved – although Georg didn’t have an optivisor heh, heh.

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