Your First Carving

Band saw cutting your wood

Many relief carving patterns are landscape styled scenes that require frame or plaque shaped wood.    But some, as my Grapeman sample, can be cut out on your scroll saw, band saw, or by using a coping saw. Cutting your pattern shape lets you take your carving right to the very edge of the design.


Levels and layers with a relief pattern 

working with levels in relief wood carvingEstablishing levels in your patterns lets you drop each area of the pattern quickly to its depth during the rough out stage of carving.

Any relief pattern has areas within the design that fall at multiple depths in the wood. For this Greenman sample the nose is the highest area of the design, the mustache and beard fall below the nose, and the grape leaf falls even lower in the wood. To make the first stage of carving, called the rough out stage, easy you can divide your pattern into three to five simple levels and drop the 

wood in each of those sections to a predetermined depth.

I mark the highest level – any area that will remain at the original wood surface during the rough out – as #1. The mid-ground levels become #2 and #3, and the deeper areas #4. This places the lowest point of the carving as level #5.

Learn more about Working with Levels.


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