Making of a Billethead

The following shows the step by step process of making a billethead (a decorative scroll commonly used as a figurehead on the bow of sailing vessel).  This particular billethead was made for the Beaver, which is located in Boston harbor at the Boston Tea Party Museum.

Billet sketch for the bow of the Beaver

Billet sketch for the bow of the Beaver

Beginning with a frame to support a model of clay

Beginning with a frame to support a model of clay

Adding clay to the frame

Adding clay to the frame

Finished model billet

Finished model billet

Looking at the right side of the scroll

Looking at the right side of the scroll

The actual billet head is made of several boards glued together.

The actual billet head is made of several boards glued together.

Fully glued together.

Fully glued together.

The idea is to simply enlarge the clay version...

The idea is to simply enlarge the clay version…

However the larger version does allow for more flowery details.

However the larger version does allow for more flowery details.

Fully carved...

Fully carved…

The final product just needs to be fitted to the bow of the Beaver.

The final product just needs to be fitted to the bow of the Beaver.

from the distance...

from the distance…

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