carving

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Related to Carvings: Stone carvings, Wood carvings

carving

a figure or design produced by carving stone, wood, etc.

Carving

 

one of the most ancient and popular forms of decorative art; an art that involves the cutting of wood, stone, bone, ganch (a material consisting of gypsum and clay), terra-cotta, and lacquer. Carving is used to embellish buildings and various household articles. In addition, small sculptures are sometimes created by means of carving. A special type of carving is glyptic.

Carving embraces a wide range of forms. Small free-standing sculptures are often produced in accord with certain specifications, such as proper use of the material and the creation of visually identifiable objects. High-relief carving is characterized by a deeply recessed background, which makes possible a multiplanar composition, with prominent forms and sharp contrasts of light and shadow. Flat, or planar, carving consists of a low relief, somewhat resembling a silhouette. There is often additional cutting that more clearly defines the design. One type of planar carving involves the slight rounding out of the edges of the carved design to achieve a soft and rich effect; the background is either lightly carved or not carved at all. Sunken carving is represented by two main techniques: three-edged cutting out and scraping. The former technique is characterized by a geometric design, and the latter by crescent-shaped ornamentation. The decorative expressiveness of sunken carving is based on a combination of graphically clear ornamental forms with chiaroscuro effects. Outlining carving consists of incised lines whose decorative rhythm is clearly indicated against the background. Filigree carving is achieved through the complete removal of the background. It creates a delicate and airy decorative composition. In filigree carving a colored background of a material differing from that of the carving is sometimes used for contrast (such as foil with carved birch bark). In applied carving, the carved design is placed on a smooth surface, creating an even background and eliminating the laborious cutting-out process.

To achieve a vivid decorative effect, different kinds of carving are sometimes combined, for example, applied carving with filigree carving or planar carving with outlining carving. Carving is also often combined with other artistic methods. Metal inlay may be applied to carved sculptures, high-relief carvings may be coated with an easily fusible metal, and outlining carvings may have pigments rubbed into them. To bring out the natural color or texture of a material or to give the material a desired color, carved artifacts are finished in various ways. Wooden articles are lacquered, waxed, stained, gilded, painted, burned, or smoked; bone articles are polished and saturated with paraffin.

The materials used in carving include soft woods (linden, aspen, poplar) and hard woods (birch, maple, beech, box). Stones of varying hardness are used: soft (gypseous stone, talcochlorite, limestone), hard (nephrite, azulite, jasper), and medium hard (malachite, marble). Materials used in bone carving are mainly mammoth, elephant, and walrus tusks. Depending on the specific problem of carving, blocks (monolithic pieces of stone, bones, and wood for sculpture) or plates (level planed boards for utility shelves and panels) are used.

Carving instruments vary. They include knives, axes, sets of chisels, various cutting tools, saws, and different kinds of boring instruments. Labor-intensive operations (sawing, the preparation of semifinished materials, the initial roughing in) are often done with mechanical or electric instruments—pneumatic chisels for stone and drills for bone.

V. A. BORODULIN

References in classic literature ?
The moonbeams twinkled on the carving knife and the pie dish, and made a path of brightness across the dirty floor.
Martin, though usually blest with a good appetite, really forgot to finish his own beef to-night--it was so pleasant to him to look on in the intervals of carving and see how the others enjoyed their supper; for were they not men who, on all the days of the year except Christmas Day and Sundays, ate their cold dinner, in a makeshift manner, under the hedgerows, and drank their beer out of wooden bottles--with relish certainly, but with their mouths towards the zenith, after a fashion more endurable to ducks than to human bipeds.
Here is a turkey to carve; and I flatter myself that I understand carving a turkey, or, for that matter, a goose, as well as any man alive.
And now, so far as carving went, this wonderful production was complete.
Above our heads is a double ogive vault, panelled with wood carving, painted azure, and sown with golden fleurs-de-lis; beneath our feet a pavement of black and white marble, alternating.
Harris had the beefsteak pie between his knees, and was carving it, and George and I were waiting with our plates ready.
So he selected a fine, big pumpkin -- one with a lustrous, orange-red color -- and began carving it.
He spoke of the exquisite work of French and Italian artists; with a gesture almost of reverence he pointed out the carving in the wonderful white ballroom.
Our hero had his penknife in his hand, which he had drawn for the before-mentioned purpose of carving on the bark; when the girl coming near him, cryed out with a smile, "You don't intend to kill me, squire, I hope
My writing is something after the fashion of those little baskets and carving which Liza Mertsalova used to sell me from the prisons.
He could take for relief (and did take) to carving demons out of the stalls and seats and desks.
Being close behind these two at the sideboard, I can testify, from what I heard pass between them, that the company lost a good deal of very improving conversation, which I caught up while drawing the corks, and carving the mutton, and so forth.