How To Start A Wood Carving Hobby: A Beginner's Guide
The intricate details of wood carving pieces might lead you to think that it is not very easy. However, wood carving only requires simple tools, like a knife or a chisel. It makes a great hobby or pastime. With dedication, it can even lead to a career.
So how to start wood carving hobby? It is vital to understand what it is first before putting in your time and effort. Read on as we discuss things you need to know as a beginner.
Types of Wood Carving
For centuries, woodworkers and artists have carved wood to create art pieces and items for everyday life. Know the different types of wood carving to discover your niche.
Whittling is the oldest form of wood carving. To whittle, you only need a knife. Well, a sharp one. You may opt for a foldable pocket knife or a carving knife with a fixed handle. There are three basic strokes for whittling:
- Straightaway rough-cutting – Perform this by pushing the blade away from yourself, making a long, sweeping cut on the wood. Use this at the beginning of the project to reveal your piece’s general shape or form.
- Pull stroke – Perform this by pulling the blade towards you, like paring an apple. It is the most common whittling stroke. Your stroke should be short and controlled.
- Push stroke –Perform this by pushing the blade with your left thumb, and your right thumb guiding the blade.
Relief carving requires more advanced carving skills. It is a process of carving figures into a flat wooden panel. Its finished product is three-dimensional, but the back remains flat. This type of woodcarving is popular in making busts, ornamental figurines, caricatures, and faces.
Carving In The Round
Carving in the round creates life-like, three-dimensional (3D) sculptures and pieces. Woodcarvers use tools, such as chisels, gouges, and more hand tools to create smooth surfaces and natural lines for the finished work.
Chip carving is a process of chipping away wood gradually to create three-dimensional figures and patterns on a wood board. The back of the piece remains flat.
What You Need To Start A Wood Carving Hobby
To start a new hobby, you always need to know and have the right materials and tools. It’s good to know these are available in your local lumber craft store and even in online shops.
Wood For Carving
The most recommended type of wood for beginners is basswood. It is a type of softwood with a fine grain and soft texture, making it easy to work even for beginners. Basswood holds carving details very well. It is light-colored; thus, a great material if you prefer to stain your finished work.
Tools For Carving
There are different tools for carving. As a beginner, you may be a little hesitant to invest in these yet. If this is the case, you may opt to buy a craft knife for your first project.
However, if you are keen to buy the basic woodcutting and woodcarving tools, you can consider these:
- Woodcutting knife
Tips To Start Wood Carving
Here are some useful tips as you start your wood carving hobby:
- Learn to handle your knife properly. It should be comfortable to hold and appropriate for your project. Avoid hand fatigue by using a knife with a comfortable grip.
- Use carving gloves. As a beginner, you should protect yourself from your sharp tools. It is essential to practice and learn safely.
- Carve wood by following its grain. It will make carving easier, especially if you are working with hardwood.
- Sketch your design on a paper and transfer it to your wood material. You may also directly draw it to the woodblock. This way, you can precisely work and achieve your vision.
How to start wood carving hobby? You just learned the basics. Still, there is a multitude of information about wood carving to help you begin, as it has been here for centuries. But you will never know how it will work for you, unless you try to carve wood on your own.