How was it made? Grinling Gibbons' carved cravat

Grinling Gibbons' limewood cravat was carved over 300 years ago. Celebrated for its amazing realism and the exquisite detailing of lace, it is a landmark work by Britain's most famous carver.

This film follows carver Clunie Fretton as she partially recreates the cravat in her studio using traditional tools. Watch as a fresh block of limewood is meticulously measured, outlined, and then painstakingly shaped over a two-week period. Using a variety of razor-sharp chisels, the complex form of the cravat is reproduced, along with the astonishing detail of its opulent needle lace. As she works, Clunie explains her approach and understanding of Gibbons' extraordinary achievement.

We use third-party platforms (including Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube) to share some content on this website. These set third-party cookies, for which we need your consent. If you are happy with this, please change your cookie consent for Targeting cookies.

Background image: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London