Originally intended as ornamental designs used to adorn furniture and architectural components, modern fretwork has evolved to where it can be found on a huge variety of smaller pieces, or even as purely decorative works of art standing on their own.


Much in the same way that scroll saw portraits are created, a fretwork piece begins life as a pattern, the image on paper detailing the areas to be cut out from the chosen wood medium. However, whereas portraits are essentially static, two-dimensional representations, fretwork pieces are three-dimensional, the additional depth giving these works a fluid, sculptural aspect.

The above piece demonstrates the use of fretwork to adorn a small shelf with a holiday theme, whereas the piece shown below is an example of a purely decorative, sculptural piece.


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