How To Carve Wood

How to carve wood

What to see the volume should be sculpted more often. And to see the volume. This is the most important thing for a carver, sometimes a person draws beautifully, but in a tree there is zero. He does not see the volume! True, there is such a moment when I sculpted it. For you, the stage has already passed and you don’t want to cut so much. I passed this, so a full-size drawing is enough for me, on which I try to draw details and bring shadows as long as I need it.

I do not pretend to be the ultimate truth, but I will try to outline my approach. In the face, it is not so much the correct anatomical proportions that are important as its expression plus the positioning of the head and the whole figure in accordance with this expression and vice versa in feedback. This is brilliantly proved by the art of caricature, where deviation from real proportions only enhances the similarity and expressiveness. I do this. I draw attention to the faces in life in the photo and made a folder of faces. When the task is set, I try to find a similar face or simulate my own. I’m trying to figure out what exactly makes the right impression. If the task is difficult, I do it without detailing. And only after catching what solves the problem I start carving. At the finish line, you can ruin everything that was done correctly earlier. Treatment of eyes, lips. The smallest deviations can ruin the case. But this is only with experience. There may be books, but not enough. Judging by your figure, you build your face easily, that is, there will be no problems with anatomy. I wish you success.

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What is the difference between relief carving and other techniques?

The relief technique is distinguished from flat-relief, contour, geometric and other types of non-volume carving, first of all, by its emphasized three-dimensional character. The main composition here comes to the fore due to the cropped background, due to which the image becomes more expressive, with a characteristic abundance of chiaroscuro.

How To Carve Wood

If the main drawing of the composition rises only slightly, no more than half of the thickness of the entire product, then such a thread is called a bas-relief (and the product itself is a bas-relief). With a higher and protruding relief, the thread is called high relief.

Transfer picture

To transfer a picture to a wooden base, a carbon copy is used as the most simple and effective solution. If necessary, the tracing paper mowing line can be easily erased by making the necessary adjustments on the fly. Fix the piece of wood or place a rubber backing under it to prevent the pattern from shifting during transfer. Think about where to place the image to make the composition look the most lively and interesting. In our case, we will shift it from the center to the bottom (photo 1).

Features of carving with different tools

IllustrationsInstructions for using the tool
Working with a jigsaw. First, choose the right canvas. For a straight cut, you can use a wider blade, it will work faster and it will break less. For curved patterns, choose a thinner canvas.

One way or another, so that the canvas does not tear, do not allow it to sag. When installing the blade, we clamp the file into an interference fit. In addition, in a normal jigsaw it is possible to tighten the blade by turning the handle, but this must be done without fanaticism.

The tool is used to make longitudinal and transverse cuts.

When working with a tool, the blade can be held:

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When creativity begins

If a person is interested in wood carving, this suggests that he has a creative nature. Having mastered the skills of carving geometric patterns, he will not stop there. Wood is a flexible material and allows you to experiment. But, when developing sketches for future masterpieces, it must be borne in mind that wood of different species is different.

Of course, linden, birch or beech have the same grain direction. However, these rocks are hard. Beginners are advised to use linden and only then proceed to processing products from birch and other hard species. In the process of work, it becomes clear that the same working methods are not always appropriate. Each tree requires an individual approach. This is the moment when the beginner begins to independently and creatively comprehend the process. The carver, when creating his compositions, understands that this process brings joy.

Tools and fittings.

Wood is a material that is easy to work with, but still, in order to make figurines out of wood, it is better to use special tools, which will be easier to work with.

  • Cutter. A knife with a shortened and beveled blade. It is the main tool, since it is used for processing both large and small parts, and for carving in hard-to-reach places.
  • Jamb knife. A knife that also has a short blade. It is used to create an ornament.
  • Chisels. They are needed to form recesses on the future product. In their shape, they can be: flat, semicircular, curved.
  • Chisels-rivets. Have a spear-shaped blade and are used to create small parts.

They are especially convenient for working in hard-to-reach places.

These are the basic tools that are required at the initial stage. But besides this, some more devices will be needed:

  • Drill (if necessary to create through holes),
  • Sander,
  • Saw (for creating blanks),
  • Sandpaper and rasps (for finishing the product at the final stage).
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In order for the final result to turn out as high quality as possible and look presentable, it is necessary to choose the right material for work.

First you need to decide what size the future wood figures will be. If you plan to make a small figure, then knots and medium-sized logs will do. And if the plans include a larger-scale sculpture, then it is better to stop your choice on large massive logs. It is worth paying attention that the workpieces are not damaged or chipped.

Experienced craftsmen advise for beginners to use rectangular bars, since the image is most easily transferred to them.

With regard to the choice of the tree itself, the following are most often used:

  • Linden. It is easy to cut, and its structure has no pronounced pattern. Therefore, it will be easier to transfer the future image to it. Such material rarely cracks.
  • Alder. Has the same positive characteristics. Working with such material is not particularly difficult.
  • Aspen. Well suited for large sculptures as it can be chipped. Aspen not covered with varnish, after a while, will acquire a silvery hue. It also does not cause difficulties in work, having a soft structure.
  • Birch. Harder material and harder to cut. Most often used to create small details. Has an unusual relief.
  • Nut. Great for fine threads. It is easy to process, not prone to chips. Often used to create decorative items.
  • Oak. Most often used for large sculptures, since the material is prone to chips, and it is much more difficult to cut it.

Any selected wood must be thoroughly dried before use. So that, in the future, already on the finished product, it does not crack. They are usually dried in a warm place, wrapping the workpiece with polyethylene.