Floral Clock

Carving the Design

  1. Establish the background area
    • Using a bench knife create a stop cut along the outside pattern lines of the design.
    • Use a rounded gouge to drop the background to a depth of about ΒΌ” to 3/8″.
    • Allow the gouge marks to remain to create a textured look to the background.
    • As you work lightly undercut to design where it comes in contact with the background. Carry your gouge carving into these undercuts to hide the joint area of the background and main design.
  2. Carving the leaves, scrolls and flowers
    • Begin carving the pattern element that is farthest away from you in depth.
    • Example: On the sample clock there are two leaves at the center of the design. These leaves lie under both flowers and are the deepest point of the pattern. Carve these leaves first. Now carve the flower petal of the rose that touches these leaves but lies underneath all of the other flower petals. Continue carving the design from the farthest away element the closest element throughout your work.
    • Sculpture each element as you work.
    • Leaf Example: Carve a stop cut along the center leaf where it touches the second and touches the petals of the rose. Use a skew to curve the leaf so that it arches upwards along the center vein line. Use the skew to lightly round the edges of the leaf. With a bench knife cut a v-groove for each leaf vein. Round over the leaf veins with the gouge. Use the undercut stroke to tuck the leaf under the flower petals.
    • Flower Petal Example: Carve a stop cut along the petal edge where it comes in contact with the next petal or leaf. Use a rounded gouge to carve a well into the petal. The gouge is held in an almost upright position to create this deep carved area. Round over the petal with a skew so that the sides of the petal taper down toward the next element. Use the skew to clean the back side of each petal.
  3. Crisp the carving
    • Once the basic carving is done go back over each area to create clean intersections and round overs.
    • Use the undercut to hide any intersection work., tucking the carving joints out of sight.
    • Lightly sand the carving to give gentle smooth curves.
    • Dust the carving well before any finishing work is begun.
    • Remember to sign your carving with your name or initials and the date of the work.

Click here for the carving order plan for the cottage rose pattern.


  1. Our sample clock has been stained using water soluble aniline dye stains.
  2. Follow the instructions on the aniline stain for appropriate mixing and application.
  3. The entire clock was first stained with Cherry Amber Maple to give the clock a soft golden red hue. Let this coat dry for about fifteen minutes.
  4. Using a small sable brush, paint the background of the carving area with two coats of Golden Antique Pine aniline dye stain. Let each coat dry about fifteen minutes.
  5. Rub a slightly damp cloth over the carving to gently lift any excess coloring from the high points of your work.
  6. Allow the dye to dry overnight.
  7. Apply two coats of Danish Oil Finish to the entire clock, front and back. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying time.
  8. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation of the battery clock works.


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