History of wood carving
Wood carving is one of the oldest arts of humankind. Wooden spears from the Middle Paleolithic, such as the Clacton Spear, show that people have engaged in utilitarian woodwork for millennia. Indeed the beginnings of the craft go so far back that, at least where timber is present, the use of wood exists as a universal in human culture as both a means to create or enhance technology and as a medium for artistry; the North American Indian carves his wooden fish-hook or his pipe stem just as the Polynesian works patterns on his paddle. The native of Guyana decorates his cavassa grater with a well-conceived scheme of incised scrolls, while the native of Loango Bay distorts his spoon with a design of figures standing up in full relief carrying a hammock. Wood carving is present in architecture. Figure-work seems to have been universal. To carve a figure/design in wood may be not only more difficult but less satisfactory than sculpting with marble, owing to the tendency of wood to crack, to be damaged by insects, or to suffer from changes in the atmosphere.
The texture of the material, too proves challenging to the expression of features in the classic type of youthful face. On the other hand, magnificent examples exist of the more rugged features of age: the beetling brows, the furrows and lines neutralizing the defects of the grain of the wood. In ancient work the surface may not have been of such consequence, for figures as a rule being painted for protection and color, it is not always realized at the present day to what extent color has from the most ancient times been used to enhance the effect of wood-carving and sculpture. The modern colour prejudice against gold and other tints is because painted work has been vulgarized; the arrangement of a proper and harmonious scheme of colour is not the work of the house painter, but of the specially trained artist. In the early 20th century, the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, on which much of this entry is based, commented, "Of late years carving has gone out of fashion; the work is slow and requires substantial skill, making the works expensive.
Other and cheaper methods of decoration have driven carving from its former place. Machine work has much to answer for, the endeavor to popularize the craft by means of the village class has not always achieved its own end; the gradual disappearance of the individual artist, elbowed out as he has been, by the contractor, is fatal to the continuance of an art which can never flourish when done at so much a yard." This statement has proven untrue, as the continued survival of the art and craft of woodcarving can be demonstrated by the large number of woodcarvers who have carried on or advanced the tradition in different parts of the world. The extreme dryness of the climate of Egypt accounts for the existence of a number of woodcarvings from this remote period; some wood panels from the tomb of Hosul Egypt, at Sakkarah are of the III. Dynasty; the carving consists of Egyptian hieroglyphs and figures in low relief, the style is delicate and fine. A stool shown on one of the panels has the legs shaped like the fore and hind limbs of an animal, a form common in Egypt for thousands of years.
In the Cairo museum may be seen the statue of a man from the period of the Great Pyramid of Giza 4000 B. C; the expression of the face and the realism of the carriage have never been surpassed by any Egyptian sculptor of this or any other period. The figure is carved out of a solid block of sycamore, in accordance with the Egyptian custom the arms are joined on; the eyes are inlaid with pieces of opaque white quartz, with a line of bronze surrounding to imitate the lid. The IV. V. and VI. dynasties cover the finest period of Egyptian sculpture. The statues found in the tombs show a freedom of treatment, never reached in times, they are all portraits, which the artist strove his utmost to render like his model. For these are not, like mere modern statues works of art, but had a religious signification; as the spirits of the deceased might inhabit, these Ka statues, the features and proportions were copied. There are to be found in the principal museums of Europe many Egyptian examples: mummy cases of human beings with the face alone carved, animal mummy cases, sometimes boxes, with the figure of a lizard carved in full Mummy relief standing on the lid.
Sometimes the animal would be carved in its hollowed body used as the case itself. Of furniture, folding seats like the modern camp stool, chairs with legs terminating in the heads of beasts or the feet of animals, Furniture still exist. Beds supported by lions paws XI. and XII. dynasties, from Gebelein, now in the Cairo Museum), headrests, 6 or 8 in. High, shaped like a crutch on a foot like those used by the native of New Guinea today, are carved with scenes, etc. in outline. In the British Museum may be seen a tiny little coffer, 4 in. by 21/2 in. with delicate figures carved in low relief. This little box stands on cabriole legs 3/4 of an inch long with claw feet, quite Louis Quinze in character. There are incense ladles, the handle representing a bouquet of lotus flowers, the bowl formed like the leaf of an aquatic plant with serrated edges from Gurnah during the XVIII. Dynasty.
Marquetry is the art and craft of applying pieces of veneer to a structure to form decorative patterns, designs or pictures. The technique may be applied to case furniture or seat furniture, to decorative small objects with smooth, veneerable surfaces or to freestanding pictorial panels appreciated in their own right. Marquetry differs from the more ancient craft of inlay, or intarsia, in which a solid body of one material is cut out to receive sections of another to form the surface pattern; the word derives from a Middle French word meaning "inlaid work". The veneers used are woods, but may include bone, turtle-shell, mother-of-pearl, brass or fine metals. Marquetry using colored straw was a specialty of some European spa resorts from the end of the 18th century. Many exotic woods as well as common European varieties can be employed, from the near-white of boxwood to the near-black of ebony, with veneers that retain stains well, like sycamore, dyed to provide colors not found in nature; the French cabinet maker Andre-Charles Boulle specialized in furniture using metal and either wood or tortoiseshell together, the latter acting as the background.
The simplest kind of marquetry uses only two sheets of veneer, which are temporarily glued together and cut with a fine saw, producing two contrasting panels of identical design. Marquetry as a modern craft most uses knife-cut veneers. However, the knife-cutting technique requires a lot of time. For that reason, many marquetarians have switched to scroll saw techniques. Other requirements are a pattern of some kind, some brown gummed tape, PVA glue and a base-board with balancing veneers on the alternate face to compensate stresses. Finishing the piece will require fine abrasive paper always backed by a sanding block. Either ordinary varnish, special varnishes, modern polyurethane -oil or water based- good waxes and the technique of French polish are different methods used to seal and finish the piece. Sand shading is a process used to make. A piece of veneer to be incorporated into a picture is submerged into hot sand for a few seconds. Another process is engraving fine lines into a picture and filling them with a mixture of India ink and shellac.
Furniture inlaid with precious woods, metals and stones is known from the ancient world and Roman examples have been recovered from the first century sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum demonstrating that the technique was advanced. The revival of the technique of veneered marquetry had its inspiration in 16th century Florence and at Naples from classical inspiration. Marquetry elaborated upon Florentine techniques of inlaying solid marble slabs with designs formed of fitted marbles and semi-precious stones; this work, called opere di commessi, has medieval parallels in Central Italian "Cosmati"-work of inlaid marble floors and columns. The technique is known in English as pietra dura, for the "hardstones" used: onyx, cornelian, lapis lazuli and colored marbles. In Florence, the Chapel of the Medici at San Lorenzo is covered in a colored marble facing using this demanding jig-sawn technique. Techniques of wood marquetry were developed in Antwerp and other Flemish centers of luxury cabinet-making during the early 16th century.
The craft was imported full-blown to France after the mid-seventeenth century, to create furniture of unprecedented luxury being made at the royal manufactory of the Gobelins, charged with providing furnishings to decorate Versailles and the other royal residences of Louis XIV. Early masters of French marquetry were the Fleming Pierre Golle and his son-in-law, André-Charles Boulle, who founded a dynasty of royal and Parisian cabinet-makers and gave his name to a technique of marquetry employing tortoiseshell and brass with pewter in arabesque or intricately foliate designs. Boulle marquetry was revived in the 1780s. In the decades between matched quarter-sawn veneers sawn from the same piece of timber were arranged symmetrically on case pieces and contrasted with gilt-bronze mounts. Floral marquetry came into favor in Parisian furniture in the 1750s, employed by cabinet-makers like Bernard van Risenbergh, Jean-Pierre Latz and Simon-François Oeben; the most famous royal French furniture veneered with marquetry are the pieces delivered by Jean Henri Riesener in the 1770s and 1780s.
The Bureau du Roi was the most famous amongst these famous masterpieces. Marquetry was not ordinarily a feature of furniture made outside large urban centers. Marquetry was introduced into London furniture at the Restoration of Charles II in 1660, the product of immigrant Dutch'inlayers', whose craft traditions owed a lot to Antwerp. Panels of elaborately scrolling "seaweed" marquetry of box or holly contrasting with walnut appeared on table tops and long-case clocks. At the end of the 17th century, a new influx of French Huguenot craftsmen went to London, but marquetry in England had little appeal in the anti-French, more Chinese-inspired high-style English furniture after ca 1720. Marquetry was revived as a vehicle of Neoclassicism and a'French taste' in London furniture, starting in the late 1760s. Cabinet-makers associated with London-made marquetry furniture, 1765–1790, include Thomas Chippendale and less familiar names, like John Linnell, the French craftsman Pierre Langlois, the firm of William Ince a
A cabinet is a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers for storing miscellaneous items. Some cabinets stand alone while others are built in to a wall or are attached to it like a medicine cabinet. Cabinets are made of wood, coated steel, or synthetic materials. Commercial grade cabinets, which differ in the materials used, are called casework, casegoods, or case furniture. Cabinets have one or more doors on the front, which are mounted with door hardware, a lock. Cabinets may have one or more doors, and/or shelves. Short cabinets have a finished surface on top that can be used for display, or as a working surface, such as the countertops found in kitchens. A cabinet intended to be used in a bedroom and with several drawers placed one above another in one or more columns intended for clothing and small articles is called a chest of drawers. A small bedside cabinet is more called a nightstand or night table. A tall cabinet intended for clothing storage including hanging of clothes is called a wardrobe or an armoire, or a closet if built-in.
Before the advent of industrial design, cabinet makers were responsible for the conception and the production of any piece of furniture. In the last half of the 18th century, cabinet makers, such as Thomas Sheraton, Thomas Chippendale and Wormley Bros. Cabinet Constructors, George Hepplewhite published books of furniture forms; these books were those of other cabinet makers. The most famous cabinetmaker before the advent of industrial design is André-Charles Boulle and his legacy is known as "Boulle Work" and the École Boulle, a college of fine arts and crafts and applied arts in Paris, today bears testimony to his Art. With the industrial revolution and the application of steam power to cabinet making tools, mass production techniques were applied to nearly all aspects of cabinet making, the traditional cabinet shop ceased to be the main source of furniture, domestic or commercial. In parallel to this evolution there came a growing demand by the rising middle class in most industrialised countries for finely made furniture.
This resulted in a growth in the total number of traditional cabinet makers. Before 1650, fine furniture was a rarity in North America. People did not need it and for the most part could not afford it, they made do with serviceable pieces. The arts and craft movement which started in the United Kingdom in the middle of the 19th century spurred a market for traditional cabinet making, other craft goods, it spread to the United States and to all the countries in the British Empire. This movement exemplified the reaction to the eclectic historicism of the Victorian era and to the'soulless' machine-made production, starting to become widespread. After World War II woodworking became a popular hobby among the middle classes; the more serious and skilled amateurs in this field now turn out pieces of furniture which rival the work of professional cabinet makers. Together, their work now represents but a small percentage of furniture production in any industrial country, but their numbers are vastly greater than those of their counterparts in the 18th century and before.
This style of design is typified by clean vertical lines. Compared to other designs there is a distinct absence of ornamentation. While Scandinavian design is easy to identify, it is much more about the materials than the design; this style of design is ornate. French Provincial objects are stained or painted, leaving the wood concealed. Corners and bevels are decorated with gold leaf or given some other kind of gilding. Flat surfaces have artwork such as landscapes painted directly on them; the wood used in French provincial varied, but was originally beech. This design emphasises materials. Early American chairs and tables are constructed with turned spindles and chair backs constructed using steaming to bend the wood. Wood choices tend to be deciduous hardwoods with a particular emphasis on the wood of edible or fruit-bearing trees such as cherry or walnut; the rustic style of design sometimes called "log cabin" is the least finished. Design is utilitarian yet seeks to feature not only the materials used but in, as much as possible, how they existed in their natural state.
For example, a table top may have what is considered a "live edge" that allows you to see the original contours of the tree that it came from. It often uses whole logs or branches including the bark of the tree. Rustic furniture is made from pine, cedar and spruce. See Adirondack Architecture. Mission Design is characterized by flat panels; the most common material used in Mission furniture is oak. For early mission cabinetmakers, the material of choice was white oak, which they darkened through a process known as "fuming". Hardware is visible on the outside of the pieces and made of black iron, it is a style. Known as Asian Design, this style of furniture is characterized by its use of materials such as bamboo and rattan. Red is a frequent color choice along with landscape art and Chinese or other Asian language characters on the pieces. Shaker furniture design is focused on symmetry; because it is so influenced by an egalitarian religious community and tradition it is rooted in the needs of the community versus the creat
Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of trees and other woody plants. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers that are strong in tension and embedded in a matrix of lignin that resists compression. Wood is sometimes defined as only the secondary xylem in the stems of trees, or it is defined more broadly to include the same type of tissue elsewhere such as in the roots of trees or shrubs. In a living tree it performs a support function, enabling woody plants to grow large or to stand up by themselves, it conveys water and nutrients between the leaves, other growing tissues, the roots. Wood may refer to other plant materials with comparable properties, to material engineered from wood, or wood chips or fiber. Wood has been used for thousands of years for fuel, as a construction material, for making tools and weapons and paper. More it emerged as a feedstock for the production of purified cellulose and its derivatives, such as cellophane and cellulose acetate.
As of 2005, the growing stock of forests worldwide was about 434 billion cubic meters, 47% of, commercial. As an abundant, carbon-neutral renewable resource, woody materials have been of intense interest as a source of renewable energy. In 1991 3.5 billion cubic meters of wood were harvested. Dominant uses were for building construction. A 2011 discovery in the Canadian province of New Brunswick yielded the earliest known plants to have grown wood 395 to 400 million years ago. Wood can be dated by carbon dating and in some species by dendrochronology to determine when a wooden object was created. People have used wood for thousands of years for many purposes, including as a fuel or as a construction material for making houses, weapons, packaging and paper. Known constructions using wood date back ten thousand years. Buildings like the European Neolithic long house were made of wood. Recent use of wood has been enhanced by the addition of bronze into construction; the year-to-year variation in tree-ring widths and isotopic abundances gives clues to the prevailing climate at the time a tree was cut.
Wood, in the strict sense, is yielded by trees, which increase in diameter by the formation, between the existing wood and the inner bark, of new woody layers which envelop the entire stem, living branches, roots. This process is known as secondary growth; these cells go on to form thickened secondary cell walls, composed of cellulose and lignin. Where the differences between the four seasons are distinct, e.g. New Zealand, growth can occur in a discrete annual or seasonal pattern, leading to growth rings. If the distinctiveness between seasons is annual, these growth rings are referred to as annual rings. Where there is little seasonal difference growth rings are to be indistinct or absent. If the bark of the tree has been removed in a particular area, the rings will be deformed as the plant overgrows the scar. If there are differences within a growth ring the part of a growth ring nearest the center of the tree, formed early in the growing season when growth is rapid, is composed of wider elements.
It is lighter in color than that near the outer portion of the ring, is known as earlywood or springwood. The outer portion formed in the season is known as the latewood or summerwood. However, there are major differences, depending on the kind of wood; as a tree grows, lower branches die, their bases may become overgrown and enclosed by subsequent layers of trunk wood, forming a type of imperfection known as a knot. The dead branch may not be attached to the trunk wood except at its base, can drop out after the tree has been sawn into boards. Knots affect the technical properties of the wood reducing the local strength and increasing the tendency for splitting along the wood grain, but may be exploited for visual effect. In a longitudinally sawn plank, a knot will appear as a circular "solid" piece of wood around which the grain of the rest of the wood "flows". Within a knot, the direction of the wood is up to 90 degrees different from the grain direction of the regular wood. In the tree a knot is either the base of a dormant bud.
A knot is conical in shape with the inner tip at the point in stem diameter at which the plant's vascular cambium was located when the branch formed as a bud. In grading lumber and structural timber, knots are classified according to their form, size and the firmness with which they are held in place; this firmness is affected by, among other factors, the length of time for which the branch was dead while the attaching stem continued to grow. Knots materially affect cracking and warping, ease in working, cleavability of timber, they are defects which weaken timber and lower its value for structural purposes where strength is an important consideration. The weakening effect is much more serious when timber is subjected to forces perpendicular to the grain and/or tension than when under load along the grain and/or compression; the extent to which knots affect the strength of a beam depends upon their position, size and condition. A knot on the upper side is compressed. If there is a season check
The art of chainsaw carving is a fast-growing form of art that combines the modern technology of the chainsaw with the ancient art of woodcarving. The oldest chainsaw artist records go back to the 1950s, which include artists Ray Murphy and Ken Kaiser. In 1952 Ray Murphy used his father's chainsaw to carve his name into a piece of wood. In 1961 Ken Kaiser created 50 carvings for the Trees of Mystery. Many new artists began to experiment with chainsaw carving, including Brenda Hubbard, Judy McVay, Don Colp, Cherie Currie, Susan Miller, Mike McVay, Lois Hollingsworth. At this time chainsaw carvers started loading up their carvings in the back of their trucks, functioning as traveling galleries. In the 1980s the art form began to grow with Art Moe getting much exposure for the craft at the Lumberjack World Championships held in Hayward, Wisconsin; this event was broadcast nationally. The addition of carving contests from the west coast to the east coast brought carvers together to test their skills and learn from each other.
The first Chainsaw Carving World Championships was held in 1987 and won by 24-year-old Barre Pinske. The 1980s saw the development of the Cascade Chainsaw Sculptors Guild and their newsletter, The Cutting Edge, mailed out to many members throughout the Pacific Northwest and the rest of the United States; the 80's brought the first book on chainsaw carving and Profitable Chainsaw Carving by William Westenhaver and Ron Hovde, published in 1982. Other books soon followed, including a book by Hal MacIntosh published in 1988 titled Chainsaw Art and in 2001 Chainsaw Carving: The Art and Craft, he published material on chainsaw carving. The first booking agency dedicated to promoting and preserving the integrity of performance chainsaw art was founded by Brian Ruth in 1992, it was appropriately named Masters of the Chainsaw. The company has represented some of the most respected artists in the U. S. such as Brian Ruth, Ben Risney, Josh Landry, Mark Tyoe and Marty Long, as well as select artists from other countries.
In 2007, Masters of the Chainsaw, under the direction of Jen Ruth, created the first international group of female sculptors under the name Chainsaw Chix. Featured in this all-female team are greats like Stephanie Huber, Angela Polglaze, Lisa Foster, Alicia Charlton, Uschi Elias, Sara Winter. Brian Ruth introduced the art as a performance art to Japan in 1995. Since he has established a division of Masters of the Chainsaw and a chainsaw carving school in Tōei, Japan. Although the general impression of the public is that it is performance art, there are a few chainsaw carvers now producing stunning works of art; these works can be produced in a fraction of the time that would be expected if only conventional tools such as mallet and gouges were used. Although many carvers continue to use other tools alongside the chainsaw, the chainsaw remains the primary tool. With the growth of the Internet, chainsaw carving has become a worldwide phenomenon with chainsaw carvers all over the world. In the United Kingdom, the English Open Chainsaw Competition draws thousands of visitors annually.
In 1989 Duncan Kitson was the first British carver, with notable success, to represent Wales and The UK in international competition. His work is recognized for its individual and tactile qualities. English chainsaw artist Matthew Crabb has carved the largest wooden statue of the Virgin Mary in the world, at 9 meters high, in Schochwitz, Germany. Welsh veteran, Harry Thomas of Thomas Carving is respected in the industry and specialises in bears, along with his son Danny Thomas. Harry has appeared on ITV's Daybreak, where he carved Queen Elizabeth II's head, in celebration of her Diamond Jubilee. In Canada, many wooden statues produced by the chainsaw artist Pete Ryan decorate the small town of Hope, British Columbia. Glenn Greensides, another Canadian artist, branched out into Japan in 1995 and visited Japan each year for 12 consecutive years to create one 5 meter tall sculpture from an exported British Columbia log depicting the upcoming year's Japanese zodiac symbol. In Japan, the Toei Chainsaw Art Club established the World Chainsaw Art Competition, the first chainsaw carving competition in the country.
The 2011 World Chainsaw Art Competition at the Toei Dome was to be dedicated to raising money for disaster relief due to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that has affected the country.1999 marked the first year of the Ridgway Chainsaw Carving Rendezvous. Every February hundreds of carvers go to a small town in the mountains of Pennsylvania for this event; the Chainsaw Carver Rendezvous is the biggest gathering of chainsaw carvers in the world and takes over the small town of Ridgway, Pennsylvania. In 2010 American sculptor Bob King was awarded a "Star/Sprocket" on the Carvers Walk of Fame in Mulda, the location of the World Cup competition; this award confirms Bob has won more carving competitions than any other carver in the world to date. In 2013, American chainsaw carver, Josh Landry, was awarded first place at the "Rally in the Valley" chainsaw carving competition. In previous years, Josh Landry was the youngest chainsaw carver participating in national and international chainsaw carving competitions.
As the art has evolved, special chainsaw blades and chains have been developed for carving. In Finland such equipment is affectionally called konepuukko; the chainsaw "blades" are technically known as "guide bars". For chainsaw carving these bars have small noses; this enables the artist to create detail in the carving that would be impossible with a standard guide bar. The chains that a