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4-6 Slicing Cuts

Carving tools don't just have one 'cut', or one way of cutting. We've seen this already with the other cuts in this section and this variation in how you use the tools means you can readily tackle all sorts of situations. 'Slicing' adds to the list and is undoubtedly the 'cut of the carver'.

We'll practise the cut than add to our sample board. And we'll make an official carving tool!


| 21 December 2021 15:43

Tom - HAIR/BEARDS: It's a good question. You need to 'stylise', which means representing one medium with another and having the viewer suspend disbelief for the moment. So things like hair, beards, water, fire, smoke, waves or rocks for example are either moving or extremely complicated and you can see that rendering them in wood presents immediate problems. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find a way, your own way, to do this.
Fortunately, this has long been a problem for carvers, in stone as well as wood, so there are lots of examples of attempts 'out there' for you to study, some very successful, some failing badly.
I haven't done figure or head carving on Woodcarving Workshops because, to my mind, they start with needing a deep sense of anatomy, skeletal, muscle and surface, the effects of gravity, and so one, a huge subject before we even look at the wood and techniques.

FUR: A little bit different here, we're talking more about surface texture, laid over the correct form of the animal which lies beneath. Sometimes you can just get the effect with carving tools - for example in our Pierced Relief 'Squirrel and Acorn'(8); or for a finer finish you could use a coarse riffler to 'plough' light/deep grooves - as in our 'Roosting Bat' (9).

| 21 December 2021 15:22

Tom - As you have it: sharp tools, vision and... practice.

| 18 December 2021 21:55

How would you do hair on a beard or bunny rabbit

| 18 December 2021 21:51

Sharpening is the whole story. The blade needs to be sharp; you need to know where you are going with your design, or want to go with your carving; and you need the right tools. It is all just a lot of PRACTISE and vision

| 07 December 2021 10:05

Tom - That's great news!
Onwards and upwards, and all the best with your carving.

| 06 December 2021 20:23

Thank You been a member for one day and really understand what I have been doing wrong and now I know why

| 17 July 2020 11:29

Gareth - In terms of the sweep and width of the cutting edge there is no difference. However, the fishtail is a lighter tool (and doesn't last as long!) with pronounced corners that will get into acute recesses. So it's the perfect tool for mouldings and some final detail work.
Depending on what you carve ,you may or may not ever need a fishtail tool and I certainly wouldn't recommend you buy a fishtail gouge unless you can see an obvious need. Serifs in lettering are a good example of where you will benefit from one.
Last point: most modern fishtails are actually 'spade' tools with less acute corners than they should have for a true fishtail and thus are not of much more use than your regular, parallel-sided gouge. So be careful to look at the shape; it wasn't called 'fishtail' for nothing!

| 16 July 2020 14:27

Is there a difference using a straight gouge to using a fishtail, will the result be the same?

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