Step Three – Cut out the Flower Petals
If you wish to make a rose like the ones in my spring bouquet, you will need 28 flower petals for each rose. You can eliminate one or two rows but the result is less impressive in my opinion. The petals are arranged in layers or tiers when the flower is assembled. It helps to cut out a template from stiff paper or card stock. Use a soft pencil to trace the shape onto the basswood shavings.
A sharp pair of scissors will do the job of cutting the petals. Volume production can be achieved more easily with a punch like the ones sold in craft stores. Using the punch eliminates the need for tracing the petals but it also confines your creations to one or two sizes.
Grain Direction in Petals
The direction of the grain in petals has a significant influence on the final appearance of a flower. This is due to the “stiffening” nature of the joint between two adjacent petals. Since the joint area consists of two layers, it resists tight bending. In contrast, the remaining areas which are a single layer in thickness are more pliable.
When the grain runs lengthwise in each petal (Figure 1), the result is a flower with sharper curves in each petal creating an angular appearance.
When the grain runs crosswise in each petal (Figure 2), the result is a flower with gentile curves in each petal creating a softer overall appearance
The photo below shows the difference between the two approaches. In the flower on the left, the petals on the outer four rows have crosswise grain. In the flower on the right, all petals have lengthwise grain.
-- Ron Tourangeau, Ottawa, ON – www.generationstudios.com