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1 Introduction

If you've never carved in the round before, this is a good place to start! A simple exercise in creating a 3-dimensional form. Many beginners are intimidated by working fully in the round but, actually, it can be a lot easier than relief carving; for one thing, the perspective and dimensions are all present and correct!

To be honest, if I were to make a 'serious' apple, I'd probably carve the leaves separately. But that's not the point here - which is to get you thinking in the round and, most importantly, tell you 3 of the most crucial things to bear in mind as you carve.

What are these 3 little golden nuggets? Watch and see!

Wood: Treat yourself to something good: Limewood, Basswood. I'm carving wood about 2" (50mm) square but the size is not that important; the exercise is about the approach and order in which things are done.

3 Tools: (Sheffield)

  • #3 x 1/2in 14mm
  • #6 x 1/4in (6mm)
  • #9 x 1/2in (14mm)


| 17 January 2018 18:40

Steven - That's a little tricky for me, not knowing from where you at writing, and I don't have a wide knowledge of woods anyway. I think the best bet is to see what other carvers are using where you are. One thought I have is a very tight-grained pine, cedar or thuja; or a Brazilian mahogany if you like reddish colours.

| 11 January 2018 07:46

I'm about to do my first in the round carving and would like to use a wood that has more character than lime but is relatively soft and easy to use. Can you recommended a wood for this tutorial? Thanks Chris

| 11 January 2017 21:58

Thank you Chris for showing the drawings on how you go about creating an apple in a square piece of wood. The hardest part of carving is understanding how to attain what you want. Until I saw this it would not have registered with me on how to go about it. I can see other applications with your approach. It will be helpful in the future with other projects once my carving improves. Hopefully!

| 17 June 2016 09:42

Shane - it's about 2" (50mm) square. I'll add that to the notes below the videos - thanks for having me clarify. The size is not that important; the exercise is about the approach and order in which things are done. And it is really only meant to be an exercise: If you have 3", by all means have use that and, yes, turn it around and carve another. Make a rolling pin!

| 15 June 2016 01:15

Hi Chris,
Is that a 3" block? How long? Also, when you carve the apple can you just turn the wood around and carve another apple on that same block of wood? I guess it's hard to come by wood around me so I might be a bit stingy with it when I buy some.

| 15 September 2014 18:12

Karen & Pete - I'm not computer literate; I just wanted to say that except for some of the early videos, where we had some problems settling down to the best way of recording the sound, my voice etc, we have been pretty consistent with the level of sound in the videos, and that's the level they stream to you. Not that it's a consolation but we do find that how these videos are received and played varies between members - as you demonstrate. So one person has a problem with the sound, another with the sound/picture synch, another with the footage itself - and there's nothing really we can do 'our end'. Karen, you might need better speakers? Pete, I guess you just reach for the volume control? I hope it doesn't spoil your learning or enjoyment. And I wish the internet was more glitch free - give me a piece of wood any day!

| 14 September 2014 11:48

Hello Karen Welcome to the best club around.
It's very odd but generally I have the opposite problem to you. On my computer I'm forever turning it down?? Someone out there is probably more computer literate and will tell us both what to do.

| 11 September 2014 17:58

Hello, I have just joined your site after becoming interested in learning how to wood carve. The problem I have is with the sound it seems quite low is there any way of turning it up? It is at 100% on my computer.

| 18 May 2014 09:55

Ann - Think 'high spots': areas or point where you are going to leave wood. If you can get your block close to some high spots, then you have a great start; literally, everything is 'down hill' from then on. So, if you can cut your block out with the snout very close to the surface, you have a reference point from which to find the next high spot - perhaps the outside of the ears, whatever and so on, working around and into the carving.

| 17 May 2014 08:06

Chris, don't know if I'll get my question across clearly but I'll give it a try: as a timid carver, when I'm working in the round, I find I tend to leave my starting block of wood almost too big for fear of not having enough space and skill to get it rounded down to the design. I notice you are much tighter on this (looking at the pelican, for example). And of course at the end, putting aside the extra work that I make for myself, I'm throwing my proportions and perspectives off... So what's the real question: planning a realistic size block in order to get to the right roundness... If an example helps, let's imagine the snout of an animal...

| 19 August 2013 03:30

No problem watching it here. Nice idea for someone I want to teach. That's also how I learned a few years ago.

| 21 July 2013 12:05

I love the mouse-pad on the vice suggestion!

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