Wood carving as a hobby

Wood carving as a hobby
There are so much amazing things you can do when you have some free time. But some are more unique and special. And in this blog we want to share with you about wood carving as a hobby.

Wood carving as a hobby

Ask woodcarvers what they love about the craft, and you get answers that express their sheer joy of using their hands and a few hand tools to create something lovely or useful out of a block or stick of wood. Woodcarving is rewarding because it allows you to create something lasting out of a simple raw material that we see around us each day. Raw lumber or scrap bits of wood become beautiful or useful items that endure.

Woodcarving is quiet. It’s easy to do when you have just a few minutes and need to take a break. It lets your hands be busy while your mind has a chance to destress. All of these factors make wood carving a very relaxing hobby.

Becoming a master woodcarver takes time, but learning the basic craft is easy. Online resources include classes, videos, articles, and books to purchase. Public libraries feature ”how-to” books. Community centers or technical schools often offer in-person woodworking classes for free or for a very minimal cost. And, if you ask around, you might discover that one of your acquaintances knows enough to help you get started.
Wood carving projects for beginners
No matter how long you carve, you’ll never learn all there is to know about the craft. Your mind will never exhaust the possibilities hidden in a block of wood. You’ll never master every cut your wood carving tools make. At times, you’ll have to creatively cover your mistakes or discover new ways to look at an “old” project to keep your art lively and fresh. All of these things make the wood carving hobby enriching--for rookies and for professional carvers.

Woodcarving offers several ways to balance practicality with beauty. A simple spoon for your home can be just that. Or, it may be an elaborately-carved lovespoon filled with symbols that tell the story of your family. Whether you use it in the kitchen or hang it above the mantel, your carved spoon is a lasting example of your creativity.

The “old” arts went out of style for a while. Thankfully, many of them are now back in vogue. Wood carving is one of the traditional arts that is growing in popularity among people of all ages. Part of the allure is that wood carving represents a simpler time when craftsmanship was valued, and durability was essential. People carved things from wood because they lasted--and because they could also be made decorative. In our “throw-away” age dominated by mass-produced plastic containers of all types, wood carving hearkens back to a time when household goods and farm tools spoke of durability and unique beauty.

Not every novice woodcarver turns his hobby into a profitable venture, but some do. You might be one who does once you master a style or product that you love. Then, you can start looking for sales avenues. Local craft shows, online selling sites like Esty, eBay, and Pinterest offer wonderful opportunities. Mailing brochures to your neighbors or arranging consignment agreements with local businesses are also possibilities.

Things you need to start wood carving as a hobby

Like so many forms of art, the style and tools that are used vary from person to person. To get started in wood carving tools there are a few basics that apply to most people. When you choose your first few projects, be kind to yourself and start out simple. If you choose to advanced of a project, you might get discouraged and give up on something that you might truly enjoy.
Get yourself a good quality basic set of carving tools. You need to buy all the necessary tools and equipment to start wood carving by yourself. Below is the list of items that you must have if you want to make wood carving your hobby:

  • Wood carving knife
  • Protective equipment
  • Sharpening tools
  • Wood
It’s good to first start with a smaller collection of tools when you are starting out for two reasons. First, is that you spread out the cost of the collection and the second, is that if in the first few months you will not enjoy carving as much as you think you would, it will save you some unnecessary spending.
To get started, one of the main things you need is obviously a piece of wood. If you are doing a hand held object, soft woods are definitely the ones to start on, such as butternut, aspen or basswood. Any of those three would be perfect for your first few projects. Soft woods such as basswood will not take a stain very well, so a lot of people paint their finished item. Your harder woods such as walnut, mahogany, cherry have a beautiful grain pattern that you can finish by a slight stain, but because of that grain, they are harder to carve. You will need a mallet in your starting kit, if you start out on hard woods. Once you determine the wood that you want to use, sketch out your design with a pencil, transfer the design with granite paper on to the wood and you are ready to start.

Always consider safety First! Don’t hold your wood on your lap while carving, use a table and secure your wood to it or use a vice to hold it. You will always be applying some type of force to push the knife or gouge into the wood, and it will slip frequently. If you are going to hold the item that you are carving, then we would recommend that you get a proper glove for the hand that you hold your wood in, before you start. There are gloves available that are extremely cut resistant. This doesn’t mean that you can’t poke your hand and that you don’t still have to be very careful with a serrated blades or cutting tools, but it will definitely help save on the use of band-aids. Wear safety goggles when carving so a small chip of wood doesn’t fly into your eye. When you get advanced enough for power tools, be sure to add a dust mask to your list of safety items, so you are not constantly breathing in dust.

Woodcarving is not an easy art, it’s usually mastered slowly and gradually, but it’s one of the most rewarding hobbies or pastimes you can have. It may be one of the cheapest woodworking projects to get into, but it can be a great expression of yourself and truly enjoyable. Try it, you just might like it!