Relief Wood Carving
Published by Schiffer Publishing, West Chester, Pennsylvania USA
As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 187
In his Introduction, Kevin Walker reveals his enthusiasm for carving and also his personal philosophy concerning the craft.
'In my seminars, I often start by asking students: 'Would you rather make fifty carvings of mediocre quality or one Best of Show?'
He goes on to say that the usual response he receives - that they would prefer to do one Best of Show - is the basis for this book which can be summed up in just the five words that appear on its cover: Simple Techniques for Complex Projects.
The complexity to which this refers is that which arises from the depth of a carving.
While the most common form of relief carving results in designs that rise only slightly out of their backgrounds, here, the emphasis is upon layering and undercutting which allows whole sections of the design to float entirely free, giving the work a sense of reality that verges on sculpture.
Most the book is absorbed with the carving of an intricate, three dimensional dogwood branch.
The author demonstrates the work using one of his own designs, but begins his text by showing how the reader may construct one from an original drawing.
After this, the outline is transferred to the wood, then all of the elements of the design are lettered and numbered to assist in organising and managing the actual carving.
The instructions are provided in clear, concise text, and are accompanied by more than 200 photographs plus several line illustrations.
In the course of the work, the author employs not only hand carving tools but also power carvers and a router.
The last four short chapters of the book deal with Adding Colour, Building a Frame, a Beginner Design and a Gallery containing some of the authorís work.
Despite the advanced nature of the work, the book should appeal to woodcarvers of limited experience.
Photos & Illustrations: Colour
Units of Measurement: Imperial
1 - Drawing the Design
Chapter 2 - Tool Tips
3 - Router Template
4 - Routing Out the Perimeter
5 - Carving Out the Background
6- Stylizing Your Design & Roughing In the Stem
7 - Defining & Shaping Leaf Clusters
8 - Carving the Dogwood Flowers
Chapter 9 - More About Undercutting
10 - Adding Color
Chapter 11 - Building the Frame
12 - Beginner Dogwood Stem
Chapter 13 - Gallery