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



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.


References in periodicals archive ?
Mr Warren has been teaching his wood carving by hand course at Kirkley Hall for the last two years.
If Kouros was a carving for a specifically post-war culture, this is because it is so portable, so temporary, so well designed for packing up and hauling away.
Carvings feature flowers, dogs, bears, deer, elk, birds, coyotes, churches, crosses, people, ghosts, and butterflies, as well as an inordinate number of women, echoing the loneliness of the herder's life.
The budget also included providing interested consumers with health and/or carving brochures.
Hill contracts with a firm in Hong Kong that does all the hand carving.
Dark, poorly-fitted costumes and tools used for carving pumpkins also can invite harm.
The swing of the elbow, the sawing motion, the seamless moves-like a virtuoso violinist, Lopez employs all these techniques in the art of carving ham.
Today, Valasek uses computer- controlled routers to create intricate bas-relief carvings on mural-sized panels of wood in the studio he has set up in Glenwood for his year-old wood-carving business: Carveture.
1 PREPARATION IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS Have a decent, sharp carving knife and carving fork in place before lunch is ready.
There are also free carving classes at the event, and youths are encouraged to attend and learn from skilled carvers.
Pumpkin carving is a tradition dating back to an ancient Celtic holiday called Samhain, meaning summer's end.