to Get Greater Contrast Between Planes
after the various planes of the carving are modeled, you want
greater contrasts between the planes, it may be done by using
the parting tool to increase the depths of the outline cuts.
Here again, there are no hard-and-fast rules. Your taste will
determine to what degree you want to develop the contrasts.
New Home Smart-Saw Does The Work of 10 Professional Woodworkers... Click
the case of a bas-relief, no great contrast should be made between
the planes and the outlines, in depth. The sharpness of the
outline cuts will determine the degree of contrast. The more
vertically the parting tool or the skew chisel is held to the
face of the stock, the sharper the outline, hence the greater
will be instances in making certain carvings where it is advantageous
to have some contrast made in the outline cut-where, in other
words, you want to shade one plane of the carving into another.
The technique here is to decrease the depth and angle of the
outline cut by rotating the parting tool and by lifting it from
the stock as the tool is run on the scribed line. Again, practice
cuts will show you the degree of wind and lift to give you the
effect that you want.
in mind that, here again, it is better to take a lot of light
cuts than to try to make a few heavy cuts to develop the degree
of shading and texture that you want to bring out; and that
razor sharp tools are easier to manipulate than just plain sharp
ones. It may seem that I am harping on one string too long when
I talk about sharp tools.
do it for this reason-dull tools are dangerous, do not make
clean, sharp cuts, are harder to work and are not easily manipulated
in anything but soft butter. I have made it a rule to strop
the tools that I expect to use in the course of the day's work
before I start. It may well be that I have not used the tools
in the work I did the day before, but on general principles
it is easier to be sure the tools are stropped up than to make
a series of running cuts only to find that the edges of the
cuts are fractured rather than cut cleanly.
of the reasons that I prefer to work in mahogany is that in
making long, running cuts on the face of the stock, with sharp
tools the cuts can be made with the same facility across or
against the grain. To digress a moment from finishing cuts-when
you are designing the carving, keep it in mind that no matter
what carving stock you intend to use, carving into the end grain
of any stock is the most difficult part of the work.
to design and lay out the work so that this is avoided, if at
all possible. There will be instances where it cannot be avoided.
In this case, make light cuts, holding the tool at a slight
angle to the face of the stock, take very light cuts using steady
pressure on the tool handle, and be satisfied with small progress
as you work.
you are doing, of course, in cutting into end stock, is trying
to cut at an acute angle across the ends of the wood fibres.
An apt simile would be to say that you are cutting into the
end of a piece of rope. These cuts can be made, they can be
smooth and accurate, if sufficient care and time are taken to
make them. They cannot be heavy or done hurriedly. After the
finishing cuts have been made, the final form and the shading
carving can be either left as it is with the texture of the
surface as it comes from the tool, or you may wish to smooth
off some of the sharper lines of demarcation. In the latter
case, use very fine sandpaper-not less than No. 4 Ought grit.
Do not try to hurry the process. Here again, light passes across
the stock will give you better effects than heavier ones. The
fine paper will not scour marks in the finished surfaces and
the results will be more pleasing than if heavier or coarser
sandpaper is used.