Living in the stressful 21st century, it is highly recommended that we all find a relaxing hobby of some sort and wood carving is one of these possible hobbies.  Wood carving can be a profession; however, many individuals have opted to complete this craft as a means of relaxation and removing oneself from the anxiety-provoking contemporary society.  If you opt to enter the world of wood carving and become a wood carver, it is important to note that there are various styles of carving from which to choose.  One basic choice is to use a small knife on a piece of wood to whittle away; however, another option is to use power tools and create a larger item.  This article will provide information on the different types of wood carving and how to choose the best style for your needs.

1. Whittling

To date, there are five main styles of wood carving with each being distinctly different from the one before.  Whittling is arguably the most basic and involves the removal of bits of wood with a cutting blade.  This is a very simple style and can be highly relaxing; however, it is not truly considered wood carving as it requires a mere shaving of the wood.  The tools required for whittling are simple: a piece of wood and a sharp knife, preferably small.  Due to the simplicity of this style, the whittled object is typically not very detailed and each stroke is seen clearly giving it a very rough presentation.  An interesting fact about whittling is that this type of carving is one of the oldest styles dating back to the days of the cavemen.


2. Chip Carving

Chip carving is a style of wood carving using several knives to remove small pieces of wood from a flat wooden surface.  The pieces of wood are known as chips; hence the term ‘chip carving’.  Unlike whittling, the knives used are specific knives and are created to push or pull at the flat wood exclusively; these knives are chip knives.  This style has become highly popular and, while being another basic type of carving, it is become considered as an art form.  As years progress, the simple chipping of flat wood into rough geometric shapes evolved to completing complex patterns and free flowing lines.

3. Relief Carving

Relief carving is a type of wood carving that is completed using a flat back piece of wood with images cut in three dimensional appearances.  This type of wood carving is a complex style and many professionals utilize it to create carvings for display on surface tops.  There are two types of relief carving: the low relief carving and the high relief carving.  The low relief carving can be identified by the visual effects with shadows being implemented through the cuts.  The high relief style, however, is smoother but it also presents shadows throughout the piece and not just on certain areas.

4. Carving In The Round

The most complicated and advanced type of wood carving is the carving in the round style.  This carving style results in products that can be viewed from all sides with the same viewing.  It is created using wood as the primary substance for the product; as well as, wood being the primary material for the pedestal or platform.  Professionals will use the carving in the round style and many larger pieces will be created with this technique.