Fascinating Artworks out of Wood - The Art of Image Carving

Carvers are craftsmen and artists who produce three-dimensional sculptures made of wood, ivory and other natural materials by carving and further sculptural techniques. Since wood was and is the material used most by them, the term can almost always be used synonymously with wood-carvers.

There is basically no difference between the two handcrafts, but image carving rather tends get applied on small formats and – according to the etymology of to carve -, rather with tapping than striking techniques. Nevertheless, the image carver will have to use both methods and also the wood carver rarely sets carving precision work aside.

Usually carvers use native tree species, as in Italy and Spain one uses walnut, poplar and pine, in Eastern and Southern Germany it is lime tree, at the Lower Rhine and at the north coast it is oak tree. For small-scale sculptures one prefers hard, fibrous woods such as fruit and box wood. Quite different tools serve for working out the forms. The raw figure gets prepared with a saw, a hatchet and an adze as well as with flat and rounded chisels (crowbar), which are driven with the mallet or, more cautiously, pushed with the heel of the hand. Afterwards several smaller knives are used for carving and cutting, finally the surface gets rasped and sanded.

The education as a woodcarver lasts three years in Germany and takes place in the course of the dual education system, in the training company and in the vocational school. Creativity, customer focus, care and artistic talent are in demand. Sculptors and woodcarvers work in wood sculpture workplaces or sometime run their own ateliers, allowing them to showcase their artistic diversity on wood.