Relief Wood Carving


Relief wood carving is when you apply a pattern to a piece of wood, to chisel out the picture. Through the use of other various tools, you are able to make intricate patterns and designs.

Woods to Use

When you relief wood carve you want to use softer woods that will be easier to chisel into and create your design. Butternut, aspen and basswood are the best to work with. Basswood is the softest and also the easiest to work with if you are a beginner.


When you first begin wood carving you only need one knife. However, there are numerous knives to choose from as you perfect your art. A few examples are straight, detail and slyod knives that fall under the category of bench knives. A few others are U veining, dog leg, stab and chip stab knives.


Gouges are used for removing large sections of wood when relief carving, as well as creating curved areas. You can pick from a few different gouges, such as back bent, front bent, straight and V gouges.


You may want to use chisels as well, since these also are handy to remove large sections of wood, make long straight lines and clean corners. There are straight and skew chisels that can do this.


Patterns can be applied to the wood surface by using a white graphite paper to transfer the design. You can choose from beginner patterns all the way to the more advanced and complex designs.


  • Wood Carvers
  • Carving Patterns
  • Appropedia

Who Can Help

  • Chipping Away
  • Nora Hall
  • Wood Carving Patterns
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About this Author

Crissi Enger has been freelance writing for five years on a variety of topics and subjects. She has a bachelor's degree from UNLV in both theater and English. Enger has been published on such sites as eHow, Associated Content, Bukisa, and Shvoong.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | Relief Wood Carving