Wood carving art is a unique form of art that is done by professional artisans who invest their larger amount of time engraving designs and patterns with wood cutting tools. The technique involves removing wood pieces from a wooden stake or frame, to give them decorative engraved designs.
Elements of Wood Carving
The art of artisan wood carving exists for many thousands of years and has evolved ever since. Subsequently, this work is famous for its craftsmen’s distinctive features and aesthetic patterns which they carve by using their compassionate skills of wood engraving.
Mostly used woodworks are in the form of furniture, pottery, wood cuttings, wall hangings, interior decorations, and other household items. Wood carving is an intricate process that requires proper use of elements for its manufacture. There are three essential key elements that every artisan keeps in mind before starting the process because they are interconnected with each other. Following are the elements discussed;
Wood Carving Art Design & Material
A design involves the type of pattern used for the engravement in wood. Before starting any cutting and timber shaving, the artisan should select a particular design for his decoration, so that he could decide the techniques of the wood accordingly.
Every design has its own aesthetic and artistic benchmark motifs which makes it more appealing for people to admire.
Another critical element of wood carving is the material of the wood used for the manufacture of the product.
It is necessary for every artisan to select the materials appropriate for the products like furniture, engraved decorations, wood cuttings, etc. moreover, there are a number of materials and its types used for wood carvings, each style has its distinctive artistic features attached to it.
Woodcarving is the brilliance of the techniques used in it for its carving. However, practices in this field are dependent on the designs and materials selection of artisans.
Each method used requires skilled workers and provides an outlook of different designs.
There are a number of techniques that vary from region to region and culture to culture.
Wood Carving Techniques
Wood carving art is an ancient art of woodcutting to form different designs and patterns for the adornment. The art is since the start of the origin of wood, which was from the beginning of life on earth.
Wood is used as a necessity for necessary home furniture products to high-class accessories of wood sculptures and carvings.
Artisans have been advancing since the start of this world and have passed their learnings and skills to the next generations.
These people are professionally skilled and pour all their energy and time into maintaining the quality of the accessories and furniture for the people to use.
Consequently, the people throughout the world are filled with admiration and love for wood sculptures, carvings, furniture, and interior decorations of the home.
Although, wood carving art is the best-preserved form of art which is alive from ancient history, yet there are some drawbacks of wood carvings, as they could not last for thousands of years if not cared with special waxes, polishes, and natural oils. Nevertheless, there are some hardwoods which last for a more extended period of time.
Wood carving is a unique art which requires special tools that include a carving knife (used for cutting the wood), a curved cutting-edged gauge (used in making curves and hollows), a u-shaped edged gauge (also known as Weiner), a straight-edged chisel (used for lines), mallets and hammers.
Firstly, the artisan chooses the block of wood accordingly to his selected pattern.
Secondly, by using a variety of gauges, he cuts the wood into the appropriate size for design.
Thirdly, using the required tools, the craftsman details the body and primary structure of the pattern.
Then he rubs the sheets of sandpaper for smooth surfaces. Finally, for the preservation of the wood, he applies natural oils of walnut or linseed.
He polishes the whole framework of sculpture, furniture, or other wood cuttings with wax and varnish.
Moreover, with the passage of time, this art has also evolved, and there several processes through which it could be practiced.
In this vast world, there are complete processes to practice wood carving by artisans; however, the primary three methods are as follows.
Wood carving is the primary technique used by the artisan to carve wood sculptures, frames, and furniture by using hand tools or carving stone. This is the simplest of styles from all the methods and is further having a number of processes. For instance, it includes flat-plane, caricature, carpentry, whitling, relief, chip carving, etc. for carving wood into different aesthetic patterns and designs.
This is an intricate process of woodcutting where a tool for rotating wood is used at high speed, and then the artisans engrave patterns on that piece by using a sharp cutting tool. Subsequently, this process is operated by a variety of artisans to form intricate designs on the rotating wood, especially pieces like bowls and other round forms of wood cuttings.
Woodworking is the most intricate technique used, which also involves the above two process before further fixing of the wood sculpture using nails, screws, and other fixtures.
This process is of making wooden sculptures using different intricate, artistic, and aesthetic patterns.
Mainly, this form of art is used for the reconstruction of ancient art sculptures founded; however, other new wooden frames and sculptures of wood cuttings are also formed.
Uses of Wood Carving
The significance of wood carving has become a necessity of human beings in many ways; however, the following are some necessary uses;
Source of Cultural Heritage
Wood carving is the most significant source of cultural identity, as this craft has been in traditions for thousands of years and has been passed to the following generations. Mostly, people living in rural areas pursue this craft with a sense of love and pride; these people enjoy engraving designs with their hands.
Value Among People
Due to the distinctive features and valuable hard work of artisans, people value this form of art more than the technology-based machine-made wood products because the designs and patterns carved by these artisans are intricate and delicate, which attracts the aesthetic lens and sense of people.
Used as Furniture
The most fundamental importance that these artisan wood carvings carry is the use of carved furniture. Furniture is the basic necessity of human beings, which everyone buys without any second thought; however, artisan furniture provides an aesthetic appeal to these objects and further enhances the beauty of it.
Used for Decoration Purpose
Another important wood carving is for the decoration of the house or any other place with wall hangings, sculptures, furniture, art pieces, and other household decorative items.
The essential purpose of any craftsmen is to recognize their skills by the artistic features of their designs.
Used in Businesses
The immense use of wood carvings is for setting up a business of these products which are sold according to the work and quality maintained by the craftsmen.
Throughout the world, the scope of this field is very high, as the prices of furniture and wood carvings are touching the sky.
However, these products are also exported to other countries and are acknowledged worldwide.
Pakistani Wood Carving
A really great article about Cutting Edge Pakistani Wood Carvings can be found here at Amoware which is written by Avais Shah and gives a good insight into wood carving in Pakistan.
The art of artisan woodwork in Pakistan is just stunning and takes a long time to practice but the results are there for you to enjoy and when possible by Pakistani Wood Carving for you home because this is really ART.
Types of Woodcarving
Woodcarving is a more durable form of carving for sculptures as it’s easy for the artisans to use wood instead of stones, metals, and other hard materials. Subsequently, the wood is skillfully cut by using unique cutting tools and is transformed into adornment products like sculptures, wood-engraved hangings, and different furniture types. People from all over the world recognize the value of this art and are using these artisan products in their daily routines.
Moreover, there are two main categories for wood types, commonly known as hardwood and softwood. However, both of these types are having distinctive, individualistic features. Usually, hardwood is considered more valuable than softwood; however, softwood is easy to shape and cut while hardwood is very intricate to cut and shape with special professional artisan skills.
Nevertheless, hardwood has a better and more long-lasting quality in contrast to softwood. Some of the primary examples of woods used are walnut, ebony, mahogany, impressive oak, limewood, teak, elm, chestnut, cypress, olive, pine, cedar, and boxwood.
Furthermore, there is a variety of carving styles used by the artisan for their wood carving techniques. For example, these types are chip carving, relief carving, Scandinavian flat-plane, Dievdirbys, Lovespoon, Treen, Whittling, carving, and many others. Following are some of these types elaborated;
This is the style of wood carving that involves the use of a chisel or knife to cut chips of wood from a wooden piece. The artisans remove pieces of wood from a flat wooden surface to enhance new patterns for beautification and decoration purposes. However, with the passage of time, the process has become limited to metals only.
This is a process of wood carving that involves carving pictures on a flat wood with the use of knives, chisels, gouges, and a mallet.
The process is of removing the wood in a way that the figure made is projected slightly; however, based on the projection, the style is further classified in high and medium relief.
Before starting this process, a master plan of picture or design is made or selected on a paper, so that the material and techniques are chosen accordingly.
Scandinavian Flat-plane Carving
The process involves the removal of wood pieces by a flat plane using simple carving knives without having edges. Subsequently, figures are carved using a flat plane wood, and the marks are left behind on the wood. For illustration, we could see the Dalecarlian horse, which is inscribed in the manner of Scandinavian carving.
This form of carving is used to carve statues and other figures of religious and holy objects. Wood sculptures are being carved with essential tools using linden wood or oak, which are further painted. These figures and statues are used in churches and holy places as divine and precious for the people of a particular religion.
This is a traditional piece of wood carving that dates back its origin in the 17th century.
Subsequently, it was used as a symbol of love which is carved by a lover and is gifted.
Although before it was used as a spoon, advancements took place and substituted its use as a decoration piece of wall hanging.
These are the wood-carved household products used the aesthetics commonly.
Even though this category is distinct from the furniture like bed, cupboards, chairs, etc., however, the small pieces of wooden engraved boxes, spoons, bowls, small tables, shoe boxes, etc. are included in this form.
Nowadays, its demand is increasing as its distinctive designs, and artistic patterns provide an aesthetic and admirable appeal towards it.
This is the art of carving wood by using a knife for making artistic patterns on a block of wood or wooden object.
Although the process is similar to carving, which involves gauges and other tools as well for engraving; however, it is distinctive because the technique uses a knife for scratching the wood.
Whittling is usually considered as a hobby and not a profession, yet there are exceptions.