Wood Carving-What Is It

First, lets look into the history, and get a grasp

on what wood carving is all about.

It has been around as long as recorded history. It’s one of the oldest forms of

creation that man has done.

Perhaps prehistorical man, made a crude ax
then he probably next came a knife.

With this knife he was able to satisfy his creative



We have always had a desire to create something.

The art of carving something out of wood, has a very long history.

It’s been said Jesus was a woodcarver, along with many famous people.

Abraham Lincoln, was a whittler as well as Will Rogers,

Calvin Coolidge were also whittlers.


Probably the most famous of all is Grinling Gibbons.
As a young man, Gibbons carved over a doorway a pot of flowers,

which was so delicate it shook when a carriage passed by on the street outside.



Woodcarving flourished for a number of years.

When America was settled, woodcarving was competing with machine production of products.

Now we have plastic replicas of just about everything. For the past one or two hundred years

woodcarving has survived principally in flat carving and furniture decoration.


The art is so old, and has been around for so long that it is generally

accepted more of an artisan’s work instead of an artist.

A man who works with his hands

is a craftsman, one who works with his head, and hands is an artisan.

But the one who works with his hands, head, and heart is an artist.

You have to see the carving in the wood before you start to carve it.


If you do not you are just going to make a pile of shavings.

Remember what you are working on has lived from twenty to over a thousand years.

Try always to make you’re carving worthy of the wood.


Then if it does’t turn out at least you have the satisfaction of trying.

I’ve spent many hours on a carving, only to realize It was not going to work out, so it became firewood.

In recent years, woodcarving

has taken on a whole new level. We now have many great carvers that are

making realistic ducks, birds, and animals out of wood.

Some works is hard to tell from the real things
they represent.

7 thoughts on “Wood Carving-What Is It”

  1. Les Waller says:

    One of the reasons I enjoy being over here in Germany is you can always find all sorts of wood carvings at the flea markets and especially when it is Christmas market time. Even during easter if you go where the vendors are gathered you can find wood carvings there, as well.
    I bought a whittling knife and some wood and tried to do something with it, hahaha, I don’t think I have the patience for it, yet. Maybe when I get a bit older I’ll be able to sit down and do something with it.

    1. admin says:

      Thank you very much for the comment. Germany is rich with woodcarving history, and perhaps if you try it again. You will discover it will teach you patience.

  2. Jakob Quist says:

    Is always very inspiring to see woodcarvings as you go through the woods. I always feel like being part of a story a long time ago, when I spot woodcarvings with love as the theme 🙂 maybe a heart with names in it. Beautiful.
    But also woodcarvings on boat-signs. Very beautiful – in Denmark we are famous for Christianshavn in Copenhagen which has many beautiful boats with beautiful wood carvings.
    I wish you a wonderful day.

    – Jakob

  3. Marius says:

    Thank you for this great article and for reminding me how great wood craving art is. I love from wood cravings and I used to crave wood on my free time when I was younger, it somehow used to calm me. Sadly now this my hobby is forgotten. These days you can find amazing pieces of art craved from the wood. We have a park in my city where are so many animals craved out of the wood and they look so realistic, it’s just amazing what people can crave out of the wood.

    1. Roy Barnes says:

      Thank you very much for the comments

  4. John says:

    I like making things out of wood. I have made a few pinewood derby cars. I do have a table top wine bottle holder that is made from old hardwood flooring out of a house that was over 100 years old.
    Working with your hands and crafting things gives you a sense of accomplishment.
    Look forward to your future post.

    1. Roy Barnes says:

      Thanks for the comments

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