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8 - Background

In this video we turn to lowering and levelling the background. Remember: It doesn't have to be engineeringly flat; just look flat.

The 2 important things to understand about these relief letters is that:

  1. It doesn't matter about their shape - it could be any alphabet or font - because...
  2. What you are doing here is what you might do in any relief carving: lining in, lowering the background and setting in.

Even if you are only interested in relief lettering, still have a look at the stages in a relief project in the Beginners Section of Woodcarving Workshops, or the 3 Simple Leaves in the Relief Projects. It's the same work, but I go into much more detail and it doesn't take much more to turn these silhouetted shapes into 'proper' low relief carving, which opens up a whole world...


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| 26 July 2023 23:20

Cool thanks Chris, that is what need

| 14 July 2023 13:53

Brian - Do you mean the right and left skewed #3's we see at 5:50?
The ones I use and like best are made by Pfeil, numbered 2AR (right) and 2AL (left). You should be able to get them through any Pfeil distributor.
Before I found these I used skewed chisel versions of these shortbent tools made by Henry Taylor.

| 13 July 2023 12:47

Chris, do you have a contact for the mirror image small bent gouges?

| 23 April 2017 09:02

Jeff - I have no problem using a router to remove wood. It's quicker and usually more accurate on the dept and if I need speed on a commission, I'd always go for it. On the other hand' it's horribly noisy and dusty, which means hearing, breathing and eye protection, and I also fit a vacuum extractor to it. So it's a balance. .I will use machines when I need to. There is not right or wrong, or moral high ground to be had.
Hand carving, as here, is something that can be a real joy and give a sense of achievement, so not to be given up to machines lightly! Also, you can do this on a curved surface, or the inside of a bowl - try that with a router...

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