Shapes can be used to symbolize your feelings in creating an artwork. Woodcarving involves countless methods and tools to turn the original raw piece into a finished work of art. In this article, you’ll not just learn wood carving but also how to carve shapes into wood.
4 Types of Woodcarving
If you’re looking for a fun and creative craft that doesn’t require a fancy studio or expensive equipment, woodcarving is for you! But before learning how to carve shapes into wood, let us walk you through the different types of woodcarving.
- Whittling – It is the oldest style or form of wood carving. A woodcarver uses a knife or V-tool in this style. Whittling is distinct for its sharp and textured cuts. You can see knife strokes rather than a smooth or sanded surface.
- Relief Carving – This is the process of carving figures into the wood. The image is carved in three dimensions and has a flat back. It is usually displayed by hanging on a wall. Depending on how much it is raised from the back, it can be defined as ‘high relief’ or ‘low relief.’
- Carving-in-the-Round – In this type of carving, the carver will need a variety of shapes and sizes of tools. This kind of carving has a more ‘lifelike’ surface and texture. It differs from whittling in its complete definition and amount of detail. Carving-in-the-Round might be big or small, scale or life-sized, and may be painted, stained, or natural.
- Chip Carving – This type involves using a knife, chisel, and a hammer. The process of doing this is chipping away at a piece of wood, as the name suggests. It can be used to create intricate patterns in wooden plates or boards. Chip carving has two levels: the wood surface and the point beneath the surface where the cuts meet. It is the most precise and requires substantial practice to become skilled.
How to Carve Wood
It’s good to determine which carving style best suits your abilities and your desired product before purchasing materials and supplies. After learning the different types or forms of carving, you can now learn how to carve shapes into wood.
- Prepare tools and materials.
- Have or make a template.
- Glue or trace the template onto the MDF.
- Using HDPE as your pattern, center it on your board.
- Screw it in place. Remember to have good downward pressure. It should stay in place.
- Cut and trim your desired shape using a scroll saw or router.
- Repeat the steps to produce shapes you need.
After learning the steps on how to carve shapes into wood, you should remember these tips to avoid unnecessary situations:
- Learn how to handle a woodcarving knife. Since knives are sharp objects you’re working with, you need to be careful. To control the knife, make sure to use your wrist and not your elbow. It will allow more control over precise carvings. If you’re clumsy, there’s no need to worry. You can use a carving glove.
- Cut along the grain. You should determine the direction of your grain before you start carving.
- Sketch out woodcuts. It helps to sketch out your cuts and carvings with a pencil lightly. It will help you be more precise and prevent unfixable mistakes.