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This may be a single piece of wood or a laminated panel. As wood is removed from the panel around the objects traced onto it from the pattern, the objects themselves stand up from the background wood. Modeling of the objects can take place as soon as enough background has been removed and the object edges are trimmed to the pattern lines. Success depends on the careful planning of your object, a systematic method of extracting the clay, and a slow drying time. It’s important to remember the more clay you cut from the body the more delicate the piece may become. If it’s a tall cylinder, begin cutting away from the top to avoid having the piece collapse due to a weak bottom and heavy top.

relief carving

Knowing if a certain piece of wood will be soft enough to get the results you want as a beginner is essential to not becoming frustrated. Chisels come in different shapes and sizes, and the common ones are #1 sweep. The sweep is the amount of curvature a blade possesses, thus, because chisels are straight-edged tools, they generally offer no curvature and are #1 sweep. Generally, a carver will use a larger chisel to remove substantial amounts of wood and then work his/her way down to smaller chisels used for detailing. This style is primarily used when the carver desires to create only a small sculpture, for example, this necklace book pendant. I finish the wood with a matte acrylic varnish, the sort used to finish oil paintings, which gives the surface a light sheen.

Low Relief Carving

Intaglio is also referred to as counter relief, and as this name suggests, it is the exact opposite of The difference is easiest to understand by picturing the finished concept accomplished by each process. Always keep your tools sharp, as dull tools will make your wood carving efforts significantly harder. are categorized according to their depth. A low relief, sometimes also called bas relief, has figures that project only slightly from the surface. On the other hand, a high relief has figures that stand out prominently from the surface with a greater sense of depth. To achieve the look of low relief, draw an outline onto the clay surface. Keep in mind that the area within the outline is the positive space and the area outside the outline is the negative space.

It also seems a little too dominant in the design. A smaller, flatter pebble would feel lighter, and would be less dominant and more balanced. Smoothing off closed grounds and cleaning into tight corners can be a major challenge, but there are some tools that really help . In this area, I use a “grounder;” this is a short-bent, flat gouge. It works well in some places, but I often find myself reaching for a short-bent, left-hand or right-hand skew. Trace the design on the wood or use temporary-bond spray adhesive to attach the pattern.

  • These figurines look difficult to make, but in reality, they are a pretty simple carving project to begin with.
  • Use narrower gouges on the enclosed areas—just do the best you can here; it’s easier to deal with them as units later.
  • On the other hand, a high relief has figures that stand out prominently from the surface with a greater sense of depth.

Free wood carving, pyrography, and craft step by step projects and line art patterns by Lora S. Irish, author of The Great Book of Flower Patterns. Low-relief describes carving into non-freestanding clay. That leaves the design visually attached to the background area. Clay is removed or added to strategic areas which play with light and shadows, thus creating an illusion of superficial depth across the clay surface.

Dragon Medallions Pattern Pack

When you first begin, remember to assemble the appropriate tools and incorporate safety measures. Along with more basic cutting techniques, the craftsman uses stop cuts to carve the design out in definable layers. The edge of one surface slopes down into another, which makes it easy to tell where the different areas of work intersect. The term “low relief” would seem to imply that a design is carved into the wood at a physically low depth. While this can certainly be the case, it mostly describes the shallow look that the finished carving has. That is, upon completion, the image appears to project only slightly from the wood surface.

Repetition of the carving all the way across the board would easily turn into an impressive display. You are going to want a tough wood, one that can withstand a lot of punishment. European Oak is popularly used on long-lived historical carvings and modern day construction. All of these styles will require equal amounts of time, practice and patience to master. These type of designs are extremely intricate and require great expertise. When selecting the right wood, it often comes down to the complexity of the image he/she has in mind.

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