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With your level of carving skillls you must have a extensive knowledge of finishes already.

Very good work and probably could tell most of us the best type of finishes for different types of wood there is.
 

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It would be interesting to see how you finish your work,

Most people here use oil of one kind or other

The icons how did you finish them , have seen quite a lot of this type of work in italy have to admire the detail.

quite a few where finished in gold leaf.What type of wood did you use hard to tell from photos
 

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Beautiful work! I suppose the finish would depend on what effect you want. Many finishes would make the wood yellow, such as oil or spar varnish. I believe lacquer would remain clear.
 

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First, let me congratulate you on the quality and quantity of your work. Very fine.

The only high relief panel carvings I know were simply coated w.many layers of wax. If I remember my student instruction, turpentine is mixed w. the first coat of wax, so the wax may enter the wood grain, and then, subsequent layers of wax were laid on and polished over a period of weeks. The ends of the panels were often capped by a thick coat of wax to inhibit splitting from the end.

I never encountered anyone using lacquer as a finish. A standard finish was penetrating stain (often neutral color) and then several layers of varnish. Lacquer, when used, was reserved for furniture and small decorative works.

I suppose contemporary practice where I live now uses substances that didn't exist 40 years ago. But the older methods worked well. I handled some low relief icons from the 1600s, and the heavy wax over the ends and back had held the wood stable.
 
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