Landscape Relief Carving

The Basics to Landscape Relief Wood Carving

By L.S. Irish

Barn Example Drawings

Let’s put together some possible combinations for your carving pattern of the simple barn.

Simple Barn Pattern

This is the original pattern as shown on the Introduction page to this section. All of the drawings shown here are worked off of this pattern using some of the different build materials available.

Barn Example One

Barn Example One shows our pattern with an easy slate wall structure and board roof. The silo is done in field stone with a shingled roof. This style would be excellent for carving knot holes and cracks in your board work.

Barn Example Two

Our second barn is still board slated but with a two level effect. The upper part of the wall structure overlaps the lower wall for rain protection. A cedar shingle roof and lattice opening in the copula adds textural changes. This silo is of wood construction with barrel bands for strength. The boards in the overhang of the roof show the substructure.

Barn Example Three

Barn three is a German styled wooden wall where the slates were laid diagonally for design. Slate shingles cover our roof and the diagonal look of the wall is carried into the copula. The silo is a clay tile structure with a tin roofing finish. Note that with this slate roofing you lose the board structure under the overhang of the roof edge. Slate was often laid on a plywood like substructure.

Barn Example Four

Field stone is used for our fourth barn with a great variety in sizes and shapes. Covering the barn is a board and batten roof and a diagonally slated copula. The silo in this drawing is made of long tin panels that are riveted together.

Barn Example Five

Finally, our fifth barn is flagstone walled. Note the window change, here the window is created by leaving holes in the laying of the stone wall. This would be the same in a brick barn. The copula picks up the horizontal feel of the flagstone and our silo is tin paneled.

A quick note on the copulas, chimneys, smoke, and lightening rods!

When working on any landscape design it is important to include a few key elements into your work.

Hay barns must have a venting systems called the copula. This small structure on the roof of the barn allows air to move through the hay loft. During the late spring and summer the hay is cut and left to field dry for several days, then bailed. Hay bales are then stored in the upper section of the barn in the loft area, with the lower levels of the barn being used for livestock and equipment.

No matter how long the hay is field dried it still contains some moisture. During the hot summer days this hay will create steam that must be allowed out of the barn. Without a venting system as the copula the barn can quickly catch fire because of the extreme heat that builds up in the eves.

Copulas have over the years become an artform in themselves, being created in tin, iron, and wood with elaborate ornate work.

Old houses in colder geographical regions must have chimneys. Again, this may seem a small point but with today’s modern heating systems chimneys may not be so apparent.

The chimney to an old house was not only the main source of heat but also it was a main support structure to the construction of the home. The builder would erect the chimney first then use it to anchor the walls of the house. Old homes, 150 years and more, in the Mid-Atlantic region will have sagging floors and walls where the house has settled away from the chimney anchor.

Some homes in the New England area may have several chimneys. A home was begun by building just a basic structure that the farm family could live in as they became settled in their area. As the family grew and the farm began to prosper additions were added onto the home. With each new addition a chimney would be built to add a fireplace to that part of the house.

And finally, if you are doing a winter scene with an older house you need smoke coming from that chimney. Smoke is added just as you would a cloud behind the house. If there is no smoke there is no fire for warmth in the fireplace. If people live within the home and it’s winter with snow on the ground and bare tree branches there will be smoke coming from the chimney … no smoke no people.

Oops, even I forgot … silos get lightening rods on their roofs. The silo is often the highest structure in the barn complex so a lightening rod is added to it’s top to ground the possible strikes during a storm. On very detailed carvings lightening rods can be separately carved then glued into place after the work has been finished on the sky and tree area.

Ready, to begin carving? Go on to page six, Rough Out Work.

Roofing Ideas
Boards and Bricks
Field Stone and Flag Stone
Barn Example Drawings
Carving Sample One – Rough Out
Carving Sample Two – Detail Work
Carving Sample Three – Finishing Details


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