Features of wood carving

What are the features of woodcarving, you ask? To make a piece of wood as beautiful and practical as possible, you need to take into account the specifics of wood and methods of its processing. Woodcarvings and decor can be divided into several types:


Household woodcarving is characterized by its large scale, while craftsmens need simple tools suchas saw, ax and chisel. Conifers are used for this type of woodcarving.

Geometric - is the simplest type of curving The workmen makes wedge-cut notches of different depths with different number of faces. Carvings applied to softwood, linden and aspen.

Relief carving is characterized by the absence of flat patterns, and drawings stand out from the general background to a certain height. Best for relief woodcutting are hard formations trees such as fir, oak, cedar etc.

Volumetric or sculptural carving is the most difficult way to process wood using special tools. For this type of carving, wood selects for its shape, not the quality of the material.

Contour carving is similar to engraving with a clear pattern and requires precise work and high skills.

How to choose wood for carving?

Felled wood is not yet a material for processing. First you need to prepare it – to dry it, to soak with wax or resin, and so on. Novice carvers should pay their attention to a trees without stripes, such as birch or linden. The first one is used to work on small and complex details, and the second, on the contrary, with simple and complex wooden parts.

Aspen is advised to be used by more experienced carvers, as instruments often "gets stuck" into it. Soft wood is no good for working with small details.

As for the pattern of the tree, it can be very different. Ebony, linden and pear don’t differ in special patterns. If you get a small-speckled pattern, you have beech or oak. A moire pattern with an ebb will indicate gray maple, birch, or mahogany. Such wood is an excellent choice for carving floral designs, or landscapes.

A wavy pattern will indicate that the selected tree has grown in unusual conditions. Wood of this type is not recommended for small patterns. If the tree trunk was crooked, with outgrowths, the pattern will be curved.

A striped wood pattern will indicate that you choose rosewood, or walnut. Maple, Karelian birch, ash and Ukrainian poplar are distinguished by the «bird's eye» pattern. If the tree buds don’t germinate, a pattern of this type appears under the bark.

You can buy wood for carving in art salons or carpentry stores. Linden can be bought from carpenters. But choosing good wood is not a guarantee of success. The quality of the carver's work depends on tool selection. These are the simple features of wood carvings. In our next articles we will tell you how to choose the right tools.