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Home » Articles » How to Do Basic Wood Carving? - For Beginners

How to Do Basic Wood Carving? - For Beginners

18 February 2011- Many art forms can be done without having a formal training in them but there are many other art forms where one must learn at least the basics so as to express the message perfectly. Wood carving is such an art which can be learnt on a trial and error basis too but when you learn the wood carving basics, you can work more efficiently without wasting your time, efforts and also the raw material! So here are some points which will give the answer to your question- how to do wood carving? You will also come to know about basic wood carving styles- those which are most preferable for beginner woodcarvers! find answers to some of the frequently asked questions or FAQ by the beginners at wood carving.

Wood Carving Basics for Beginners First and foremost when learning how to do wood carving is the selection of right tools and safety factor because you will be using edge tools for wood carving projects.
  • Prepare a relevant first aid kit. You can even buy one. Always keep it handy when you do wood carving.
  • Start with a small wood carving project in the beginning- something that can be finished easily such as a carved wooden spoon or a stick.
  • Wood Carving Tools
    Wood Carving Tools
  • Select a place for wood carving very cautiously. This place should be such where you are not constantly distracted. Also start to do wood carving only when you have considerable amount of time to do it. This is important because you love this art form of wood carving and want to have satisfaction from it. The very first rushed or distracted wood carving session will lead to poor technique and a not so pleasant experience.
  • Choose the right type of wood for carving. For the wood carving beginners soft woods like hazel, willow and alder are good as they don't chip or split badly.
  • How to Do Wood Carving
    How to Do Wood Carving
  • Also select the right shape of the wood to carve. As you are just beginning to learn wood carving, a suitable piece of wood is very important. Do not think that any shape of wood is ok and you will get there eventually. Try to choose the shape of wood that is closer to the thing you want as a carved result.
  • Learn to consider each and every cut to help yourself learn concentration, good control of the knife and a good result apart from being safe. You must know where the knife begins and ends for each cut. Bear in mind the pivot point and the force of the cut.
  • Never cut toward yourself, do it the other way round. There are many advanced cuts where the knife edge remains orientated towards your other hand or body but the force is not directed towards you. You will yourself discover these advanced cuts later and become a competent woodcarver but in the beginning just don't cut towards your own self.
  • Always keep the knife for wood carving sharp. A dull or blunt edge will require more force than is safe and will also result in a poor, and non competent technique.

Basic Wood Carving Styles When talking about wood carving styles, there are mainly two categories for them. One, a three dimension work or carving in the round and two, flat work called relief carving where the design is carved down into the wood blank that gives an impression of three dimensional work. For wood carving beginners who have to do basic wood carving, relief carving styles are the preferred projects. Here is a short and basic description about how to go about these basic wood carving styles.

Chip Carving
Wood Chip Carving
Chip Carving
Chip carving is done basically with a chip knife. This wood carving technique uses triangular shaped cuts creating intricate designs across the surface of wood. The chip carving patterns are defined by a few basic element such as the triangle or free form line. However, by varying the size and position of these elements new patterns can be created through chip carving. Although chip carving technique uses only a few shapes, they can be varied in style. For example, the triangles can be long narrow shapes or very short and fat in appearance. Curves can also be included within the triangles outlines. Wood chip carving is good for making carved jewelry boxes, shelf supports, wood kitchen accessories etc.

Intaglio Carving
Intaglio Wood Carving
Intaglio Carving
Intaglio carving is basically incised carving technique where the main design is carved into the surface of wood. The original wood surface level acts as the background of the design. Intaglio carving is often called reverse wood carving technique because it is done in a reverse style to that of low and high relief carving where the design is the highest surface that is left after the carving work is done on wood. Carved rolling pins, antique sealing wax stamps etc. are all examples of intaglio wood carving.

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