There are five main styles of woodcarving. Each style is markedly different from the other. These styles are whittling. Chip carving, relief carving, intaglio carving and carving in the round.
Whittling. Whittling involves the removal of part shavings or bits of wood with a cutting blade. It is the simplest form of wood carving, but not actually the art of wood carving. Because of whittling is and always should be fairly simple. This is a critical differentiation to be taken into consideration. A piece of wood and a knife is all you require. And because it is just so commonplace, whittled objects don't have much detail, as is the case in all other styles of wood carving.
When you're holding a whittled object in your hand, you absolutely know that it. Each knife stroke is obviously seen. It is only when it began centuries ago, during the time of cavemen. Isn't that amazing?
Chip Carving. Chip carving relates to the use of numerous knives to remove small pieces of wood (chips) from a flat wood surface. These are specially made chip knives that are used to push or pull in the wood, cutting upwards or downwards to free each chip.
Chip carving has got so popular that it becomes its own art form. The highest technique is to chip varying triangular shapes from the wood. This creates complex patterns that are often geometric in nature. Free form lines are regularly utilized to accentuate these chipped patterns. You could really let your imagination go.
Relief Carving. This type of carving is done in a horizontal back cut of wood with images cut in 3-dimensional fashion. These are wood carvings you see on the walls or sitting on tables or surface tops.
There are approximately two types of reliefs carving. Low relief carving is identifiable by the visual effect that is created. Without shadows to imply deep carving, the product appears very shallow and is thus considered low relief. In high relief carvings, a spectacular depth effect is made by the addition of shadows throughout. Both types result in carvings with appropriate dimension and detail. The end product is polished to create a very smooth surface. Then it may be painted, waxed or varnished.
Intaglio Carving. This style of wood carving is very close to relief carving. Nonetheless, instead of being as if it is above the wood surface, it looks as if it is part of the wood. The designs are less than the surface because they are carved deep into the wood. Think of old wooden rolling pins. Remember the cute little pictures that were carved into it? That's intaglio carving.
Many furniture makers really like the style of intaglio carving. It has come so far as to be mounted for a blank space, carved separately and then inserted into the furniture. How about that? It can be noted in dining tables and in bedroom furniture. It's fantastic for wood paneling. You can even see in specialty plaques, as part of an existing decorative item or as the actual surface of coffee tables and end tables.
Carving In The Round. This is the most advanced style of wood carving. The product can be found from all sides with a full and easy view of all details. It is powered part of the wood and its base serves as a supporting platform or as a pedestal. The carving could be an individual, an animal or a landscape-nearly anything you can imagine. It could be life-sized or to scale. The sky is virtually the limit with carving in the round.
This style of carving requires quite a number of tools. A variety of knives, gouges and chisels are a bare minimum. The use of power tools is not surprising and often expected. The final product than is generally fairly spectacular. Oftentimes, a product of carving in the round is easily mistaken for a porcelain creation. The details are the case that impressive.
Wood carving has been in existence since the days of cavemen. With time, it has become an inspiring art to behold. It's very relaxing, often exhilarating and extremely satisfying. If you're only looking for a hobby, wood carving could be exactly what you're looking for.
Len Q. is a knife sharpening expert and protector of the natural world. If you would like to find out about: Knife Sharpening: How to Sharpen Knives, Maintain and Store Them, test for the sharpness, steeling and more, sharpening other edges (e.g. Lawn Mower Blades, Chain Saws, Gardening Tools, Axes)