HOW TO SCULPT?
The different stages of wood carving:
We recognize several stages of wood carving. For a bas-relief, fashion mainly used in ornamental sculpture, seven steps are necessary, for the success of the sculpture work:
• The realization of the art design: The 1st step for the realization of a sculpture is to make the art drawing on a sheet of paper, according to the choice of the client. It will then be reproduced on the wood using tracing paper and carbon, or an impervious white canvas.
• Tracing on the wood is the step of reproducing, by transparency with a waterproof cloth or tracing paper and carbon and with a pencil, the motif or drawing of art, on the piece of wood. Depending on the size of the subject, chalk can be used.
• Cutting and cutting allow to highlight the shapes of the sculpture around the drawing. This involves removing as much wood as possible around the pattern, using hollow gouges, in the direction of the wood grain. We must keep a premium of wood, to leave a margin to work detail afterwards. It can be done at the router, at first and then finished, in a clean way, without marking the bottoms, with the gouge and the clasp.
• Adjustment of the plane: Once the cut is done, it is important to adjust the planes so that all the elements of the sculpture meet around the different planes. This is the step of checking the perpendicularity of the plane, checking that the bottom is at the same height everywhere.
• Spanning or shaping the wood gives the piece its shape, reducing the main planes. This consists of going down the planes successively with the flattened gouges and the chisel.
Then, scaffolding is made to fix the piece in the position where it will be seen; we reposition the pattern precisely on the piece of wood, often with the help of the English screw.
• The roughing or modelling is the step of realizing the final shape, forming the volumes and making the small details of the carved pattern.
• The finishing of the sculpture consists of scraping the wood to eliminate the tool cuts that are too apparent. It also allows to play with shadows and light accentuating the hollows. It is then necessary to grate the wood and to sand it before proceeding to the protection of the sculpture (varnishing, waxing, ...)
In my wood carving workshop, I receive young people or adults to initialize them with this technique.
I put at disposal a whole panel of professional tools available to execute a part of starting. In this way it allows the student to take charge of the various tools and to realize the real difficulty of this activity.
in the schools where we do the demonstration is done on small pieces of "medium" (MDF) which is easier to work than local hardwoods.
the modelling workshops make it possible to create parts before making them.
The sculptures thus made are of various kinds: objects of decoration, images or personal creation.