Battle of the Roses: Carving a flower

To carve a decent-looking rose or flower, a craftsperson must take no prisoners! Blood, sweat, and tears—and careful study of the techniques of past masters—are required to make the flowers come to life. The carving must look delicate but not so heavily undercut as to render it physically weak and not able to stand up to the rigors of typical use (for example, imagine the wear the newel post shown below gets). Like with all woodcarving, the most important aspect of a good flower carving is that the design is well executed and that it has a weight and flow of its own.