Reasons to begin wood carving vary from person to person, but common reasons include the creative aspect of it and how easy it is to start. People also carve wood to entertain themselves and as a relaxation method.
A wood carver creates a design or sculpture from a piece of wood. Since the carver can create almost anything that comes to mind, wood carving gives him a creative outlet to express himself and make art.
Supplies vary depending on the project, but a wood carver only needs a knife and a piece of wood to start carving. This makes it a good choice for people who don't want to purchase many tools and those who don't have much space for projects.
Wood carving has four styles, each with its own tool requirements. Whittling, which is the carving of a wood sculpture, requires a carving knife, and this style typically has angular cuts with visible knife strokes. Relief carving uses a carving knife, hand tools and occasionally power tools. In this style, the wood carver takes a flat panel of wood and carves a three-dimensional figure into it. The back of the panel remains flat.
Carving in the round is similar to whittling in that the wood carver creates a sculpture. However, the wood carver adds more detail to the sculpture to make it lifelike. To do this, he uses hand tools and power tools. In chip carving, the wood carver chips at wood to create a pattern. Chip carving requires a chip knife, or a knife, chisel and hammer.