I have never done any wood carving before but Marlo got the idea to make a couple of cheeseboards from some cherry wood he had. Wow! The finished products are gorgeous and I got a good upper arm workout in the deal. Ha. Seriously, swinging a heavy wood mallet over and over is a good workout!
Wood carving is so very different than wood turning. When I turn, the wood is flying off in showers of sawdust and all I see is the whole piece. It’s a grand vision and a wonderful thing but very different than carving. When you carve, each strike of the mallet takes off a flake of wood, individual. And there are lots of strikes! (As an aside, the shavings make great kindling for fires. We were doing this when it was cold enough to want a nice fire every night.)
In both cases, you take away what you don’t want, unlike other crafts where you add what you do want. That took some getting used to when I was first turning. You’re not building something–you’re reducing it.
I was also amazed at how smooth the wood is without sanding. Each stroke left a smooth surface behind. I can get fairly smooth with turning but not to the level of carving. Maybe that says something about my skill level. I’m definitely a novice turner.
You can see more of the boards here.