Moulding Glossary: Flutes

flutes: A channel or furrow in a pillar, resembling the half of a flute split longitudinally, with the concave side outwards. Some authorities refer to Doric columns as “channeled” because they have a sharp arris at the meeting of the edges of each flute. They suggest that flutes require fillets between them to be real flutes.

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2 Responses to Moulding Glossary: Flutes

  1. Dave from IN says:

    I really like the illustrations, but as I quickly glanced at the “flutes,” I realized that it wasn’t immediately obvious which side was the face and which was the “wood.” It is obvious if you know what you are looking at, and very obvious if you actually read the definition, but some shading on one side may help make it immediately visually apparent what is what.

    I really appreciated the delineation between channels and flutes–that’s something I never knew!

  2. Dean says:

    My attempt.

    Flutes: Parallel concave grooves that are commonly used to ornament the surface of columns, posts, or panels. A parallel series of channels, running longitudinally (length wise) around the circumference of a column or cylindrical shape, or across a flat surface. These channels can form sharp ridges at the contact edges between channels (arris). The channel edges can be spaced apart and a flat surface or a shaped surface placed there. In architecture it is used in the Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite orders, but never in the Tuscan. The concept is a reed or bamboo style musical flute that has been split in half length wise yielding a concave channel in the halves.

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