Although wood selection can vary from project to project, I prefer using for indoor carvings as it is very stable, soft enough to be carved easily, but the grain is close and firm enough to hold a precisely cut surface well.
I also design and create sculptures that can be placed outdoors – from hardwoods such as English Walnut, Ash and Yew. However – as with hard-wood garden furniture – this will still require regular oiling to preserve the wood.
Much of the wood that I use – in particular for wood-turning- is sourced from local tree-surgeons.
The majority of my woodcarving is carried out using hand gouges and chisels, but on some larger work, I use powered tools for rough cutting to remove bulk material. Where possible, I prefer to leave the wood finished straight from the chisel, with a “tooled” finish. However, depending on the wood used and finish achievable, the aesthetics and balance of the design, or depending on customer requirements for a commission, a smooth and sanded finish may be more appropriate over the whole or part of the carving.
I usually treat my wood carvings with Danish oil to preserve the wood and bring out the depth and richness of the grain. The carvings may darken slightly as they mature with age in sunlight.
In my portfolio you can see examples of how some of my carvings have evolved from a sketch or plasticine model (maquette), then from the initial rectangular block of wood through to the finished product.