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1 Introduction

A swag is the architectural carving term for fabric slung between two points. 'To swag' has the sense of 'to droop, sink, or settle' and here we see the effect of gravity pulling down in the centre. Thus I suppose, those youths who stumble along with the crotch of their trousers/pants hanging by their knees are actually walking with a swagger...

A drop is material hanging freely. In this case, the drops are the ends of the swag after passing over a nail but more conventionally they would pass through a ring or via a knot.

The swag and drop is a classical, 18th century ornamentation, found a lot in Adams style of work, in fire surrounds or mirrors for example. It looks good combined in a row with other swags passing between a row of drops. Do bear in mind that because the swag twists, you can make them 'handed' - twisting one way to the left and the other to the right. The swag and drop also makes a great little project that will teach you a lot about drapery and how to stylise it.

In this video we bandsaw out the block and hold it ready for carving.

Accompanying lesson: Introduction to Drapery.

Download for the Swag and Drop with working drawing & tool list for subscribing members is below.

Wood: I say I used Limewood for the project - and you can. I actually used Sycamore. Wood thickness 3/4in. (20mm).

Subscriber download: Swag & Drop Working Drawings (PDF)


| 17 November 2015 13:27

Claude - I have, but it does have issues: it's often not a strong enough hold - as you suggest - but, mostly, the paper sandwich ensures the edges are properly backed (supported) so you can cut through into the backing wood without fear of breaking the lower edge of the carving. I find it hard to achieve this grip with double sided tape.

| 15 November 2015 19:00

Chris - Have you ever had the chance to try with double sided tape to hold the piece to carve? I'm not sure if double sided tape is holding enough.
Thanks - Claude

| 12 September 2015 17:26

Alan - Thanks for asking that, I can see that although the working drawing has a scale, I didn't add the thickness. Apologies. It was around 3/4in (20mm), a little more or less will not matter. I'll add it to the description above too.

| 05 September 2015 09:59

How thick is the wood you used?

| 13 June 2015 06:18

Jeremy - If you look at what I've written below the video, you'll see a link to the download page. There you'll find the pattern, a list of the tools I used and a few more comments - just what you want! I include a link like this for every project, usually putting it below the first 1 or 2 lessons. The link above will actually take you to the full directory of downloads - of which as I write there are actually 38 - and you can go directly to the list through the About tab at the top. You'll find the one you need in the Ornamental and Decorative section. All the best with your carving!

| 13 June 2015 05:49

Hi Chris

I am hoping to have a go at this carving for a project and was hoping you may have a link for the pattern of the swag and drop.

Thank you for videos I enjoy the inspiration they give me.


| 21 May 2015 07:39

Autumn - Apologies for the oversight and thanks for the heads up! It's posted on the download page now.

| 20 May 2015 14:08

Would you make sure the drawing is posted, please? Great carving project. Thank you.

| 19 May 2015 01:28

First, thanks for putting this up a bit early. I usually wait until the 20th, but was re-watching another lesson and stumbled upon this.

Second, fantastic project, very classic look. I am always fascinated with carving cloth, and have a hard time with it. In this lesson you made clear quite a bit of what has been confusing me.

So thanks again, for your lessons. I have been a member a long time, and have learned so much because of it. I don't comment often, but I wanted to convey my gratitude for all you and Carrie do for your students.

Thank you so much!

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