Woodcarving: Yay or Nay?

In the last eZine, Rob wondered whether carving is making a comeback and asked eZine readers about your experience with and preference for carving and shaping wood.

There seems to be a rather sharp divide among woodworkers in terms of their preference, with some being all in favor of it. – Editor
“Carving has been my passion for years, both on boxes and in furniture. It seems that popular stuff in the past cycles around and starts to become the ‘in’ thing again.” – Greg Little

“My woodworking is carving, entirely!” – Lynda Kelley

“My life would be so much simpler if I liked Shaker or ‘Danish Modern.’ But I like Art Nouveau, which can entail a great deal of carving, depending on the design. I have a side table that is extensively carved, and my couch and side chair, which were inspired by a design from a couch in the Musee D’Orsay in Paris that is more shaped than carved in more traditional forms, but still using carving tools and techniques. Carving is very satisfying, almost a zen-like meditative experience.

If natural edges are an effort to achieve the feel of carving on furniture, it is a much simplified way of doing it without putting in the work.” – Barry Saltsberg

 And some avoiding it as much as possible. – Editor

“I think one of the biggest draws for live-edge wood is the natural feeling of the piece. I love it when someone can’t keep from caressing the edge of one of my tables or cutting boards. I do no more ‘carving’ than necessary with my pieces. Mainly just enough to get a void back to good wood so I can fill with stone and epoxy.” – Bob Farris

“A few thoughts about carving. To me, it seems too difficult to do and seems to require artisan skills which I do not possess. I really haven’t attempted any carving. Both my wife and I will look at some carving on furniture. We will agree that the carving is nice and took a lot of effort to do, but it is not to our taste in furniture. Commercially carved furniture, if available, is prohibitively expensive. Even if the carving is done by a CNC system, it takes time. We all know that ‘Time is money.’ The other thing that I’ve noticed about carving in furniture is that parts of the carving tend to collect dust. The sad fact is that nobody these days wants to dust or wax furniture on a regular basis. Isn’t that why they invented polyurethane?” – Rich Flynn

And some have other issues with it. – Editor

“I have tried to do some carvings so they really look nice. I have, at this point, managed to make a decent looking stick figure — if you really use your imagination.” – Richard Downey

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