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Hart of the wood, Willington, Derby, UK.

Carving Strategy

JON HART Carving Strategy

The thing about woodcarving is that you only remove material, whereas with some other forms of sculpture – such as modelling in clay to produce metal castings – material can be added and subtracted. Therefore you have to carefully plan the approach to carving each piece. I aim to progress cautiously in a way that best mitigates recovery of any mistake. I begin with the most difficult “side” or elevation first – on a portrait this is usually the face. Then I progress back into the material until I am satisfied the front relief profile is correct, and then the appropriate level of detail of features is complete. Only then will I start to remove material from round the “back” of the carving. Attacking a carving from all sides at the outset runs the risk of reducing options for recovery of errors and the carving and some features may end up looking too thin, or disproportionate.

View how my carvings take shape