Woodcarving Advice

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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For woodcarving advice, there are trade guilds, books, and classes that can provide information and useful tips. Each year, thousands of people pick up wood carving as a therapeutic and gratifying new hobby. Not only is there a certain satisfaction in completing a homemade project with your own two hands, there's also an intense, single-minded focus required of wood carvers. This can prove to be a welcome distraction from everyday worries.

If you're just starting out with wood carving, you'll need to pick up the proper tools, some basic patterns, and a couple of wood blanks. As you improve, you may want to go from two-dimensional relief carving to three-dimensional work, which poses a unique set of compositional and aesthetic challenges. The hobby can be a powerful tonic, so don't be surprised if before long you're investing in a wood lathe, drill press, or band saw.

Getting Good Woodcarving Advice

If you don't want to dive headlong into a class, start out by checking carving-related web sites, message boards, and newsgroups. There you'll learn the basics of relief work, from types of cuts to the sanding techniques. You may also find that you're drawn to certain modes of the craft. You may wish to study industrial carving or cabinet-making, or you may be better suited to ornamental work.

There's no single piece of woodcarving advice that will ease your transition into the craft. The best thing to do is pick up a blank and begin experimenting with strokes and cuts. Allow yourself to make mistakes at first. You're not sculpting fine furniture or classic handmade gifts--at least not at the outset. Rather, you're getting the feel for transferring and following patterns, handling veining tools and gouges, and seeing a project through to completion.


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