Wood Carving

The woods used vary greatly in hardness and grain. The most commonly employed woods include boxwood, pine, pear, walnut, willow, oak, and ebony. The tools are simple gouges, chisels, wooden mallets, and pointed instruments. Although they were universally one of the earliest art media, wood carvings have withstood poorly the vicissitudes of time and climate. A few ancient examples have been preserved in the dry climate of Egypt, e.g., the wooden statue of Sheik-el-Beled (Cairo) from the Old Kingdom.

History - Instructions - Downloads - Online Tools - Projects

Wood Carving Historical Information

Did You Know?

The art of carving in wood is technically known as xyloglyphy.

There is a statue the Cairo museum of a man from the period of the Great Pyramid of Giza, possibly 4000 B.C. The expression of the face and the realism of the carriage have never been surpassed by any Egyptian sculptor of this or any other period.

There are four basic styles of wood carving, Whittling, Carving in the Round, Releif Carving and Chip Carving.

Whittling is the art of carving shapes typically out of raw wood or bone with a knife.

Carving in the Round is a method of wood carving that results in a three-dimensional wood sculpture with a view from all sides.

Relief Carving is a method of carving that involves chiseling away from one side of a flat board such that you have a raised picture on a flat background much like a three-dimensional painting.

Chip Carving is done by chipping out triangular-shaped chips of wood from a larger piece of wood such that a pattern or picture is left behind. The result is usually not very detailed, as this is a rougher, more abstract method of carving.

History Of Wood Carving

Wood Carving Historical Information

Wood Carving Techniques and Information


To the Reader,

Be you 'prentice or student, or what is still better, both in one, I introduce the following pages to you with this explanation: that all theoretical opinions set forth therein are the outcome of many years of patient sifting and balancing of delicate questions, and these have with myself long since passed out of the category of mere "opinions" into that of settled convictions. With regard to the practical matter of "technique," it lies very much with yourself to determine the degree of perfection to which you may attain. This depends greatly upon the amount of application which you may be willing or able to devote to its practise.

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How To Do Intarsia

Wood Carving - Where To Start

Downloadable Files For Wood Carving

Basic Tips

How To Carve Eyes

Whittler Guide

Woodcarving 101

Online Wood Carving Guides

Wood Working Safety Checklist

Wood Finder Search Engine

Wood Identification Chart Click On A Wood To View

Wood Carving Projects

Beginners Carving Pattern Fish

Christmas Tree Ornament Patterns

Cowboy Patterns

Egg Carving Tutorial Downloadable

Related Sites

Woodworking 101`


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The following woods are soft and easy to carve, with basswood the preferred wood for beginners: basswood, aspen and butternut.

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