Wood carving is an art form, where one works on a specific type of wood using special cutting tools, which can be small hand-held tools or large power tools to create wooden figures. It is similar to sculpture except that, instead of a piece of rock or clay, one is working on a block of wood to create ornamental sculptures.
Many fine wood-carved figures and figurine can be observed from the Middle Ages in countries like France and Italy.
Selection of Wood
Whenever working on any piece of wood, it is wise to arrange more delicate parts of a design along the grain, instead across the grain. Also, while woodworking remember the more slender stalks or leaf pints should not be too much separated from their adjacent surroundings.
These are relatively easy to work on. Other types of woods which are good to work on are mahogany, chestnut, and American walnut. Wood parts which are painted for a decorative purpose should not be very delicate in nature, and should be made using pine wood.
Gouge is a tool used for carving hollows, sweeping curves, and rounds. V-tool is used for parting and sometimes for emphasizing lines. Veiner is a type of specialized gouge. A wood lathe is another tool used to create cylindrical shapes and for giving a smooth finish to your carved artifact.
Techniques for Beginners and Serious Hobbyists
There are four basic techniques when it comes to wood carving.
Other technique called chip carving is done by chipping out triangular-shaped pieces of wood from a larger block of wood, so that a pattern is left in the block of the wood. With this technique you can make wooden jewelry or a picture. This is a more rougher and abstract-looking method of carving wood.
Relief carving involves chiseling away from one side of a flat wooden board piece, so that you have a raised picture on a flat background. This gives a three dimensional effect. One needs to work using different kinds of gouges, while using this technique.