How to carve on wood and stone?

Carving has been practiced for centuries. It consists of removing certain parts of a solid, such as wood or stone, in order to give it a specific shape. Sculptors are not only skilled in carving, but also have the knowledge of modeling. In this art, it is necessary to have “the touch”. 

The choice of material

The choice of wood is essential, because it influences enormously the result of the sculpture. The easiest to use are cedar, oak, walnut and chestnut. Durable, these types of wood allow the construction of robust sculptures. Before selecting it, it is important to consider the environment where the sculpture will be placed: indoor or outdoor. As far as stone is concerned, clay is the most recommended. Some artists also use limestone with a softer consistency. Stone, like wood, requires the use of specific materials in good condition.

The tools

Carving requires different types of tools. They are necessary to succeed in each step of the work. The easiest way to do this is to draw a sketch of the sculpture. To work with wood, you will need various tools. Among others: the clasp, the gouge, the chisel, the chisel, the riffler, the knife or the sledgehammer. This list is not exhaustive since there are other tools that are just as useful for this or that job. The same goes for the tools used for stone carving, which must be strong enough to impact, saw and scrape. Like the sledgehammer, the mallet, the bush hammer, the engraving points, the gouges, the washers or the chisel. To carve stone, it is essential to use strong tools such as those made with hardened forged steel or tungsten carbide.

The sculpture itself

The use of line is very practical in sculpture. After drawing the straight line in the middle, it is necessary to view the image in 2D and start from the outside. Looking at the sculpture from all angles before acting is very practical for a better result. Creating a base improves progress. The use of armature gives the possibility to build the sculpture while making sure that it always stays together. For best results, it is advisable to finish the larger details before moving on to the smaller ones. Of course, the artist’s inspiration constitutes the essence of the work.