Skills used by Wood Carvers
Skills used by a Wood Carver
Wood Carving involves having the right tools, but also learning correct technique and having the right type wood for any specific project. Once proper technique is learned it will take time and practice to master them.
I think we can all agree that a woodcarving with a fine finish to it is much more pleasing to look at than one with chips and chatter marks. Clean cuts add to any carving’s finished beauty. I like my carvings to look like they were hand carved with fine finish cuts. In my opinion, sanding is not a viable replacement for clean cutting but I know many carvers that sand just for that reason.
I thought it might be a good idea to share with you some general carving considerations that have helped my past students. I have taken them out of my book Carving Canadian Caricatures in Relief.
Composition is the art of arranging and selecting within a design, of deciding how the parts will fit together to make a whole. There are some very useful principles - but not absolute rules.
As a beginning carver, the choice of carving tools available can be overwhelming. Which tools you really need to learn this craft and which tools you really will use can be a hard decision. There are several basic tool shapes that are standard to this hobby. The primary carving blade is the bench knife.
So what is carving with confidence? First, I'll tell you what it is not. Carving with confidence is not chipping away with tiny tentative cuts. Carving with confidence is not working for an hour on a small carving and then looking it over trying to see how it changed since you started on it. Carving with confidence is not spending a month on a small figure that still looks square and far from complete. And the number one problem, carving with confidence is not creating hamburger.
To begin, sit down in a chair without arms (the chairs),and hold the workpiece on your lap. Grasp the knife in your right hand (or left if you're left-handed). Place the first joint of your thumb, at the blade end of the handle, and wrap your fingers around the handle as shown below. Then turn the inside of your wrist toward your body and rest the tip of your thumb, the knuckle of your index finger, and the point of the blade on the workpiece.
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