Wood carving is a specialized form of art that has been used by mankind for ages. If you’re drawn to wood carving, this is not a surprise. Wood has a charming and aesthetic quality.
So if you’re planning to dive into this rewarding endeavor, it’s normal to ask yourself – is wood carving hard? We’re going to give you the practical tips you need to help you on your journey to wood carving.
Quick Tips To Get You Started On Wood Carving
A process we are unfamiliar with keeps us on our toes. We do not know what to expect, so we think of things, like “Will I be able to do this?” “Is wood carving hard?” “Is wood carving something I can learn?”
There are some factors that will affect your ease into this activity. Here are some tips on how to carve wood easily:
History Of Wood Carving
Let’s look at some significant facts in wood carving history:
- Wood carving is considered one of the oldest arts of humanity.
- North American Indians use it for their wooden fishhooks, and Polynesians carve patterns on their wooden paddles.
- The Clacton Spear is a 400,000-year-old spearhead and is the oldest known wooden device used.
- Where Timber was present, wood existed as the primary medium to create art and improve technology.
- Figure-work on wood was considered more difficult than sculpting marble. Wood cracks easily and is prone to other environmental factors. But it was still considered a significant medium resulting in magnificent pieces.
- The Shigir Idol is the oldest known wooden sculpture and was discovered in Russia. Said to be at least 11,000 years old, this sculpture remains a mystery to this day.
- Magnificent wooden sculptures were created during Germany’s late Gothic era, as evidenced in pieces, like the St. Wolfgang Altarpiece.
Tip # 1 – What Wood Should You Use
As a beginner, the best wood to start with is softwood with fine grain. These are some of your choices:
- Basswood – A popular choice for its soft quality and cream-colored tint. It has fine grain, which makes carving it easier.|
- Balsa – this is the wood used for model airplanes, which makes it easy to find in craft shops.
- Pine – Learning how to carve pine wood can be a challenge because it has coarse grain. However, it is still very soft and is an excellent good choice for beginners.
- Butternut – Like Pine, Butternut has coarse grain and could easily be chipped in the process. But because it is soft, it is still an option for beginners.
Tip # 2 – What Tools Do You Need
Whittling is a woodcarving style that utilizes a carving knife. It produces wooden sculptures with a natural and rugged finish, which adds to its charm. It is also a great way to jumpstart wood carving.
For whittling, you need:
- A sharpening stone
- A whittling knife
Tip # 3 – What Are Some Wood Carving Techniques
Before carving, always follow these safety precautions:
- Sharpen your knife regularly.
- Wear gloves.
- Work at a reasonable pace, and do not rush.
- Check on any possible allergic reactions to wood.
Is wood carving hard? Here are some techniques that will make you an expert in no time.
- Learn to carve with the grain. The grain in wood carving refers to the pattern of the fibers in your wood. Carve along this pattern to avoid wood chipping. You can test the grain in your wood by doing a cut on the wood away from your body. The direction that feels less resistant to your cut is the grain of your wood.
- Try to trace your design. A trace on your design will give you a visual guide while you carve.
- Work in carving stages. Working in stages will keep you focused until you finish your piece. You can start by developing the shape and making light cuts until you fully form your wooden sculpture.
The most important aspect of carving wood is to enjoy the process. For now, you may still keep wondering, “Is wood carving hard?” Difficulty is temporary. With all the tips you’ve learned, you’re on the road to becoming a professional woodcarver! Find out more wood carving tips here!