Pub Signs

These big signs offer the perfect introduction to carving. Learn three approaches to creating dramatic depth and saving time. Then come up with your own look.

The history of pub signs in England goes way back. By way back I mean that the Romans brought the novel idea of signage to the British isles during their “visit.” Signs with strong, clear, visual references helped the largely illiterate population navigate the needs of daily life. Like, “let’s meet at the green dragon, they have the best happy hour.” Once the British convinced the Romans that their welcome was worn out, they sent them packing. But, they kept the marketing tool of pub signs, along with other cultural trappings. The three examples you see here were each created using different methods. The dragon is crafted mostly with woodcarving tools (and a little help from your router to get the ball rolling). The horse is assembled in built-up sections with enough carving involved to give the sign life. The Blackbird was fashioned at a CNC machine followed by some hand-carved human touches. You could do it by hand like the other two. All three signs are made from basswood, which is an agreeable wood for all manner of carving tactics. And they’re painted with long-lasting milk paint. Whether you choose to carve one, or all three signs, you have a fun adventure ahead.

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What You Get:

  • 59 pages of step-by-step instructions
  • Over 30 full-color photos and illustrations and exploded views
  • Full-size patterns and templates

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