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Make Your Own Wood Sculptures & Carvings

Updated:2013-07-22 16:22:43

Woodcarving has been around for centuries both as a profession and a hobby. Whether you are whittling a stick or carving a detailed sculpture, woodcarving takes lots of practice. Unlike stone or marble, wood sculptures need to be protected because they can't withstand the elements like other materials can. Woodcarving has changed throughout time but the appeal of creating something from natural materials has helped the hobby endure the ages.

 

Instructions as follows:

 

Firstly, find a woodcarving supply store. This will supply you with the proper wood and tools to get you started. Don't start with wood found in your backyard. Basswood, aspen, and butternut are soft woods that are good for beginners. When carving, you will need to know which way the grain runs. Look at the long cell fibers and the dark streaks to determine the direction of the grain.

 

Secondly, use a carving pattern. Many woodcarvers use a carving pattern to make it easier to carve the figure they want. They are available to purchase and there are also free mosaic patterns available online. Be sure to research the free patterns. If you eventually plan on selling your woodcarving, you should acknowledge where you got it if the pattern is not your own. Transfer the pattern onto the wood with graphite paper. Graphite paper makes it easier to erase lines without smudging.

 

Thirdly, secure the wood with a vise or on a work bench. This will leave your hands free for the carving tools. You are more likely to cut yourself if you are carving with one hand and holding the wood with the other.

 

Fourthly, carve in a downward direction following the lines of the grain with the X-acto knife. If the wood starts to tear or splinter, you are probably carving in the wrong direction. Make sure your carving tool is very sharp.

 

Fifthly, round out the basic shapes after carving the basic pattern. When using a U-gouge to remove excess materials, hold the handle of the gouge to push and hold the metal shaft with your other hand to guide the carve. You need to establish the large shapes first making it easier to add details. Use a V-gouge to add details.

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