"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it depends on what you put into it. "
- Tom Lehrer
An exquisite interior design store filled with wooden doors carved with intricate design, and many more artefacts of wood will make you wonder how such intricate designs are made on such a simple thing which is wood. In a time of world health crisis and lockdown many are trying new hobbies, and wood carving can be one of them. If you have a wood carving kit gifted by someone or you bought it but couldn’t use it because you were too busy in your work then this is the right time to remove the kit and start wood carving, as it can be relaxing and calm your mind. Wood carving is an art which involves carving on wood using cutting tools like a knife and a chisel. Wood carving has its history, and was popular during middle age in germany, england, russia, italy and france. Wood is light material and it is easy to carve in it.
Tools for wood carving
Most of you are confused between wood carving and wood work, wood carving is a process of carving design on wood whereas wood work is the furniture work. Tools used for both the craft are completely different. A chisel is the important tool which is tapped using a wooden mallet. Thinner cutting edge is present on bevels for wood carving.
Most common tools are straight chisel with flat edge, straight gouge with curved edge, for deep cut a spoon like dip short bent, long bent for making long deep cut, straight skew, veiner, these tools are available in different sizes on online stores. Apart from these tools, sharpening stones are also used for the tools and carving chip, which is used for the final finishing work. These tools are bought in sets, depending on the art you are planning to do on the wood.
Wood carving pattern and designs
Pattern and design for wood carving depends on the size of wood you are working on and the design you wish to make. There are plenty of designs available online which you can print and use for carving. You can try the traditional age old designs which give a vintage look to your wooden art piece or go for contemporary designs.
Wooden sculpture can be a tedious work but make sure you have an idea what design you are carving and of course like other artforms these art will also take time to get used to it and learn it. Flowers, leaves, trees and elephants are common designs carved on wood. Intricate patterns of flowers are common and beginners can learn such designs with practice for a few days.
Best wood for carving
Any log or plank which is dried, and not rotten and cracked is best material to use. For beginners it is suggested to start with soft wood like linden, aspen, chesnut, cedar. Carving knives can be used for these wood. Hard textured wood has a very well visible annual ring which is sometimes an advantage as it can be an add on texture which looks natural.
Fruit wood is wood from fruit trees, and is generally used for spoon carving.
Basswood is the best wood suggested for beginners, it is soft, also you can do intricate design as it is smooth and carving would be easy.
Oak wood is one of the strongest woods which is usually used for furniture. White oak has closed pores used for making barrels, for fermenting wine.
Wood carving is a relieving art, and can be learned by practicing. No two woods are ever the same, every wood comes with its annual rings and will add some uniqueness to the designs carved.