Shawn Cipa has given us a wonderful and thorough introduction to my beloved gargoyles. The tutorials are clear and easy to follow. This is a must-have book for all gargoyle aficionados, not just for wood carvers.
In this book Carving Gargoyles, Grotesques, and Other Creatures of Myth, carvers will discover the history and lore surrounding the gargoyle and his cousins, the grotesque, guardian, chimera, greenman, imp - and learn to tell the difference between them all. Scores of color photos show where gargoyles can be found around the world. And for those wishing to make a creature of their own, master carver and author Shawn Cipa provides two complete step-by-step projects for a traditional water-spouting gargoyle and a classic grotesque.
There are also 10 additional patterns for a crouching imp, a keystone, wall panel, even a cane topper and door knocker.
About the Author: Shawn Cipa began carving wood in 1993. Already possessing a solid background in art, it wasn't long before woodcarving became a driving passion in his life. He began by carving wood spirits, and soon after tried his hand at Old Father Christmas.Although Cipa has carved many different subjects by commission, he admittedly prefers all things whimsical by nature. Walking sticks, canes, Santas, angels and othermythical characters are just some of Cipa's repertoire.
Cipa was recognized as a national winner in Woodcraft Supply Corp.'s 2000 Santa carving contest. He is also the author of Carving Folk Art Figures, Woodcarving the Nativity, Carving Fantasy & Legend Figures inWood, and has been featured in
Wood Spirits & Green Men, by Lora S. Irish. Cipa has done several how-to articles for Woodcarving Illustrated magazine, and continues to provide more of the same.He does commissionwork from his website and provides pieces to many international collectors. He hopes to continue his carving endeavors with unending support fromhis friends and family, who have encouraged his efforts.
About the Book: Peering down from rooftops with expressions ranging from haunting to humorous, gargoyles have endured for centuries as an architectural element designed to divert rainwater or-as legend has it-to ward off evil and protect the cathedrals, churches and buildings upon which they were perched. Today, these legendary creatures are as popular as ever-especially as a form of artistic expression. If you've wanted to try your hand at carving a gargoyle-or a grotesque, chimera or guardian-this unique step-bystep tutorial from a renowned woodcarver will guide you from start to finish. After a fascinating introduction into the history, lore and actual differences between each icon, you will learn to carve a Traditional Water-Sprouting Gargoyle and Classic Grotesque. Once you master the two step-by-step projects, you'll discover ten additional original carving patterns, including the Crouching Imp and the Screaming KeystoneGrotesque.You'll even find patterns for functional projects, like a gargoyle cane topper and a Green Man door knocker. Inside the book, you'll also discover: the symbolism of the gargoyles, grotesques and guardians; expert tips and instruction, including"Artist Approach" sidebars; secret finishing techniques for achieving an authentic aged-stone look; professional tips for securing and mounting yourwork; and gallery photos of ancient and modern gargoyles found around the world.
Shawn Cipa is the author of some fantastic woodcarving books and happily he has just added another to his series on mythological creatures with this look at gargoyles, the grotesque and guardians. Beginning with an in-depth history of these fascinating characters, Cipa explores their uses throughout the world, before moving on to two beautiful step-by-step projects for you to try your hand at a traditional water-spouting gargoyle and a classic grotesque figure taking inspiration from Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. There are patterns for a dragon-lion styled guardian, a green man door knocker, a grotesque corbel, a crouching imp, and an interesting intaglio lion medallion, among others. There is even a satirical take on a woodcarver as a gargoyle, before the book closes with techniques, and selecting timber and tools.
The subject matter is indeed different to many carving books out there but this tome is well worth a look. I had a lot of fun pouring over the pages and feel inspired enough to have a go at one or two myself.
Firstly, I love your work!
I just wanted to get in touch with you and offer a big THANK YOU for your book "Carving Gargoyles....". 2 days ago I completed my first project (The Classic Grotesque - the one on the front cover) and I could not be happier with the result. I even surprised myself.
I've been a high school Industrial Arts teacher (woodwork, metal work, technical drawing etc) for 30 years but over that time, my skills have been channelled mostly into home renovation and other similar large scale projects. My wife has always had a fascination for gargoyles, dragons and other mythical creatures and then about 6 months ago on the British TV series "Grand Designs" my interest was sparked by a couple who built a Gothic style house, complete with hand carved wooden gargoyles and other creatures.
It was just after this that I decided that if I could find a book or a website with some basic step-by-step instructions, I might actually be able to carve myself a wooden gargoyle. Onto Google and within minutes I discovered your book and immediately placed the order. As soon as it arrived a few weeks later I went out and bought myself a few basic chisels and a nice piece of "Chile Myrtle" and I got started. Fortunately, a teaching colleague noticed what I was up to, went to his office and returned with an old suitcase that belonged to his grandfather. It contained a beautiful set of about 25 hand-made carving chisels. They were old, and had not been used for many, many years but they were still razor sharp and a joy to use. I have made him an offer on the chisels but he is understandably reluctant to part with them.
Your instructions were excellent and set out in such a way that by the time I got to the really hard parts (the head and hands), I had honed my skills on the relatively easy sections and was therefore able to approach the challenging parts with confidence. Mind you, to save embarrassment if it didn't work, I kept saying to myself (and everyone who called by from time to time to see what I was up to), that I was really just "having a go" to see if I could do it, and I was quite prepared to abandon the whole project if it didn't work out.
But all went well and now I think I am addicted. I gave the grotesque to my wife yesterday for a birthday present and she has already started looking through the book to pick the next project.
Now that I know that this is a pastime I want to explore further, I am now on the lookout for a more complete set of tools and I think I'll make myself a carving bench like yours.
So once again, thank you and best wishes.