Welcome to my Blog
This is a place where the visitors are confronted with their search for a personal touch and where they have an opportunity to get acquainted with a skilled expert, who has turned durability and tradition into a personal passion.
I hope this will become a valued and rich source of inspiration and knowledge. Please Leave comments and enjoy your visit.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

HOLZWERKEN MAGAZINE | German Magazine for Woodworking | Interview with Woodcarver Patrick Damiaens

Patrick Damiaens
Ornamental Woodcarver

'Holzwerken Magazine'
German Woodworking Magazine

Woodworking Magazine

In the May/June 2013 issue of HolzWerken an intriguing article was published concerning my activities as a woodcarver – ornamental carver. 

Since many years, this thematic German magazine for ambitious woodworkers has been a national and international source of inspiration for many.

Comprehensive articles on crafting techniques for furniture, tips on woodturning and reports on creative, traditional workshops are topics which are covered monthly.

I’m not very photogenic, yet the editors at Holzwerken thought differently.  As it happens, they put me on the cover of the magazine, which is an honour and a privilege. 

This is already the third time this honour has befallen me. The first time, in 1996, I ended up on the cover of the Swiss Magazine the ‘Schweizerische Schreiner Zeitung’. More recently, in 2012, I ‘graced’ the cover of the Belgian ‘Z.O. Magazine’. 

I have to say, I was relieved that I ended up on the cover and not on the centerfold. That wouldn’t have been a pretty sight ;)

I wish you happy reading.

WEBSITE Holzwerken 


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

CARVED STAIRCASE PARTS | Carved Newel Post | Hand-carved Stair Components

Patrick Damiaens
Ornamental Woodcarver- Architectural Woodcarving

Ornamental carving for a staircase

The Rococo staircase

In the Rococo style the elegantly crafted balusters were the eye-catcher of the staircase. Thanks to the spiral form of the stairs, the slightly curved bottom of the balusters flow smoothly into the stringer. Most of the time the bottom of the main baluster is formed by an open “rocaille”-motive. These motives or carvings, formed in the shape of a shell, went particularly well together with acanthus leaves and flowers.

Cabinetmakers working in the Rococo style originally had a preference for openly sculptured balusters. However, in today’s implementations of the classic Rococo staircase people often choose for sober banisters manufactured with a turning lathe, not only because it is cheaper but it also leaves a less heavy impression.

Nevertheless, the moderation of banisters is not just something that can be found in modern craftsmanship. The banisters in Louis XIV for example are, in contrast with these in the Rococo style, very strictly styled and sober. With its more moderated approach classicism remade the flaunting Rococo staircase to a more sober but still elegant piece of furniture.

But I stick with it, if one wishes an elegant staircase in the Rococo style (and if one has the space for it), open cravings give your staircase a beautiful an unique look. 

Carved staircase parts

In Belgium, the finest examples of craftsmanship in the Rococo style (± 1750) can be found in the ‘Hotel van den Meersche’ in Ghent and in the town hall of Lier.  


The phases for making a carved newel

With Rococo style motifs
 "After the French Manner"

1)      A rough version of the sculpture or carving is drawn on the wood with crayon.

 2)      We put down the proper lines and forms of the ornaments on the baluster with a pencil. 

3)      We saw out the baluster.

4)      With a router we prepair the different levels in the wood

5)      The carving can actually begin.

carved staircase parts, detail

 Plaster models can be helpful when making individual ornaments. 

Rococo ornament surrounded by shell-like "rocailles", leaves and C-scrolls.

Personal project (in the Netherlands)
The baluster sculptured by myself was not made to fit a new but an existing staircase in a house built in around 1930. Several rooms including the hallway where the staircase is located, needed renovation. With this face lift the owners wanted to give their house a unique character. By providing the existing staircase with classic Rococo woodcarving, the room got a more elaborated look.

It is however very difficult to respect existing situations and to meet the wishes of the costumer at the same time. So it is always a challenge to keep the harmony in a room.

Carved Newel post

Every design and every application of carving  is unique and will never be remade in the exact same way.


Translation Liesbeth Neyens

Sunday, 7 April 2013


Patrick Damiaens
Heraldic Woodcarver

Heraldry carved in wood  
The SIX Family, Amsterdam

Family coat of arms carved in wood
One of my specialties is the carving of Heraldic family coat of arms in wood. To carve a family coat of arms in wood is a bit of a personal challenge for me. Heraldry is a most interesting subject and I always look forward to taking on new assignments involving heraldic arms.

You learn about interesting people that captivate the imagination, all of whom have their own fascinating life story or family history. And for me personally it’s always nice to hear that my craftsmanship and quality are greatly appreciated.

Every heraldic coat of arms is different. Most of the time, it starts with an example that serves as a source of inspiration in the form of a drawing, an old sketch or some photographic material delivered to me by the client.
In some cases it occurs that the design for the family coat of arms is not entirely suited as the blueprint for the carving of it in wood. 

This might be due to the fact that the design is in a format which is a lot smaller than what the client had in mind (e.g. a large heraldic panel), in which case the family coat of arms has to be redesigned. If one were to simply enlarge the small design, the proportions or the composition of the design would be distorted. 
Usually things have to be added to the composition in order to make better use of the available space. It might also be that there is no logic to how the mantling was arranged, and it’s entirely possible that the design was never meant to be carried out in wood. After all, wood has its limitations.

It is equally important that the relief fits the dimensions of the coat of arms.
We always try to resolve these small and sometimes larger issues together with the client.


The Six Family, Amsterdam

The Six family is originally a northern French family whose descendants settled in Amsterdam around 1586. the latter was the father of the Dutch lineage whose members in 1815 and 1841 were included in the Dutch nobility.

The proven lineage begins with Guillaume Six, cloth dyer in Armentieres and Lille (France). His son Charles, who lived in Saint-Omer settled after the fall of Antwerp in 1586 in Amsterdam. Also there was the family active in the cloth and silk weaving. In the 17th century the family became one of the most important families of Amsterdam and are supplied the city many administrators and mayors

The family distinguishes two family branches Oterleek and Hillegom, both descended from  Charles Six and named after the properties which came later  into possession of the family. In 1815, Mr.. Cornelis Charles Six of Oterleek raised in the Dutch nobility, and he became in 1820 the title of baron by birthright granted. In 1841, Mr.. Henry Six, of Hillegom, enlisted in the Dutch nobility.

Several family members were painted by Rembrandt. The name Six is an abbreviation of Sixtus, a name given to the sixth child of a family. 

Jan SIX painted by Rembrandt (1654)

The SIX Collection, Amsterdam
Family Belongings, including family portraits, archive, art, furniture and antiques have been placed in the Six Collection (Amsterdam).

Six family heraldic Coat of Arms

Drawing, Family Coat of Arms

First we create a detail drawing of the family coat of arms. The source of inspiration was an old etching from the 19th century. Over the next few weeks, this drawing/blueprint will serve as a reference for carving the heraldic weapon in wood.(oak)

The drawing is redrawn on carbon paper and by a pen is applied to the wood. (oak)
A router is used to remove the wood around the drawing. A relief of 1.2 cm is created to carve the heraldic coat of arms in (bas-relief). 


The actual carving can begin.  
This stage is called modeling. Many years of studies and full-time experience are crucial.

Carving a family Coat of Arms


Because of the modeling, the original drawing disappears. During this stage, the drawing is reapplied on the rough shapes of the coat of arms with the help of a marker or a pencil.
SIX Family Coat of Arms, Carved in wood , Amsterdam
The ornaments, heraldic details and carving gets its proper height. Insight into the depths and the relief of the ornament, and knowledge of the maximum depth of an ornament are from great importance, as well as routine and experience in this art form. The use of plaster models and images can also be very helpful in this stage. 

Family Crest in wood
Coat of Arms Six : in blue two Wassenaar, Dutch for  enlarging of the Moon, accompanied  with a star, all of them silver

Wassenaar = The 
enlarging moon or crescent is the moon shortly after new moon. Wassenaar : the word means 'increase'. From the northern hemisphere, is the illuminated crescent moon on the right side of the moon.
Helmet partly steadily at. Torse: silver and blue. Crest: the star of the shield.

Manteling: silver and blue. 
Supporters: Left a silver horse, right beholding lion of natural color, red tongue, both on a brown tournament lance, a banner under the shield, with silver fringe and cords.

Arms Motto: STELLA DUCE (the star directed to Christ) in black letters on a white ribbon.

Coat of Arms in wood

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