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2 Piercing the Background

'Piercing' is what it says on the tin: cutting all the background away. Scary - but good fun!

Piercing like this makes a huge difference to the look of the carving and introduces what is often conventionally described as 'negative space', contrasting I suppose with 'positive' form. It's a funny way of describing what's happening as often the space feels more 'positive', more active, than the form. Whatever, there is no doubt that, without the background, things lighten up and the drama begins!

Depending on the size of your carving, you have different approaches. The one I use here involves a pillar drill (drill press) and Forstner bit.

Boring holes is a good method for thick wood; you can't get a bandsaw in (though a hand-held scrollsaw can work). This machine guarantees a hole perpendicular through the wood. If you want to bore holes and don't have one, do take great care not to cut into the frame. The fish we can modify; the frame, not really.

Related Videos:

Subscriber download: Pierced Relief Fish Notes and Working Drawing


| 24 November 2020 11:19

Cecil - A 'flat' gouge is a #3 in the Sheffield List. In that list, a #9 is a semicircle in cross-section and there is a range of gouges in between with the numbers going 'flatter' (towards #3) or 'quicker' (towards #9).
There's lots more about carving tools in the 'Tools & Equipment section of Woodcarving Workshops. Have a good rummage around!

| 23 November 2020 17:09

Hi how r u chris. What is considered a flat gouge. Thanks.

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