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Chris Pye’s Woodcarving Course & Reference Manual: A Beginner’s Guide to Traditional Techniques (Fox Chapel Publishing) Relief Carving and In-the-Round Step-by-Step (Woodcarving Illustrated Books)

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A comprehensive guide akin to having a one-on-one course with a master carver!

  • Learn step-by-step: Clear instructions and color photos take you through every step of the carving process, from grips to simple exercises to practice projects for carving in the round
  • Workbench, tools, & wood: Learn the details of what to look for in a workbench and its accessories; what tools are available, what they each can do, and which ones you need to get started; and how to choose the best woods to carve
  • Commission & sharpen: Learn how to commission your carving tools from gouges to bevels—simply being sharp is not the whole story
  • Exacting cuts: Learn how to safely make precise cuts with your tools using different grips and angles, including running cut, stabbing cut, stop cut, sweep cut, slicing cut, and more
  • Practice exercises: Learn how to execute a variety of techniques by applying what you’ve learned to various practicing activities designed to get you comfortable with using your new woodcarving tools correctly
  • Relief and in-the-round projects: Step-by-step, you’ll learn how to carve in low relief, high relief, and pierced relief, as well as a wren and a baseball cap in-the-round

The first step into a new craft can be overwhelming: Where to start? What tools to buy? What projects to begin with? Thanks to author and internationally acclaimed woodcarver Chris Pye, this guide is filled with everything a beginning woodcarver needs to know.

Chris Pye’s Woodcarving Course & Reference Manual is akin to having a one-on-one course with a master carver. You’ll learn what to look for in a workbench, the importance of commissioning your carving tools—there’s more to it than just sharpening!—and how to make exacting cuts and execute a variety of techniques.

Like any good instructor, Pye includes practice exercises to make you comfortable with the tools and techniques so you can build your skills and carve with confidence. His warm, conversational teaching style will encourage you as you follow the step-by-step instructions and work on a number of motifs, as well as projects for low, high, and pierced relief, and in-the-round.

This resource is a collection of tips and tricks honed over many years, and will mentor newcomers and serious beginning woodcarvers alike. Novice crafters will find quick success and encouragement working on a number of carving motifs and three projects for both relief and in-the-round styles. For serious beginners eager to know more about a timeless craft, this go-to reference provides an answer to every question.

With the help of Chris Pye’s Woodcarving Course & Reference Manual, you’ll learn to carve:

  • Four types of simple, decorative molding
  • Designs, symbols, and letters in the traditional relief style
  • Several forms of line carving, including cavo relievo
  • Beautiful koi projects in three levels of relief
  • A realistic baseball cap in-the-round
  • A charming wren in-the-round


From the Publisher

Take a woodcarving course from a master carverTake a woodcarving course from a master carver

Get started in the world of woodcarvingGet started in the world of woodcarving

Wood carving exampleWood carving example

Akin to Taking a Woodcarving Course with a Master Carver

Chris Pye’s conversational teaching style will encourage you as you learn all about:

Choosing carving tools

Workshop setup

Using carving tools

Choosing the best wood

Safe grips for beginners

Exercises to practice your skills

Relief carving projects

Projects for carving in the round

Chris Pye’s Comprehensive Guide for Beginning Woodcarvers

Get Started Learning Traditional Techniques

The first step into a new craft can be overwhelming: Where to start? What tools to buy? What projects to begin with? Thanks to author and internationally acclaimed woodcarver Chris Pye, this guide is filled with everything a beginning woodcarver needs to know!

Like taking a 1-on-1 course with a master carver

What to look for in a workbench

How to commission your carving tools

How to make exacting cuts

How to execute a variety of techniques

Step-by-step instructions & colour photos

Build your skills & carve with confidence!

Clear, easy to follow guide helps you establish a solid foundation of woodcarving skills

Tips & techniques

Tips & techniques

Practice exercises

Practice exercises

Beautiful Beginner's Projects

Beautiful Beginner's Projects

Tips & Techniques

Learn the basics of your carving tools! How to hold them safely, how to use them effectively, and the different cuts you can make are all described alongside helpful colour photographs of each grip, angle, and cut.

Practice Exercises

Ingrain valuable habits with step-by-step exercises that help you put into practice what you’ve learned. Accompanied by straightforward instructions and clear photos, these exercises will help you to safely & comfortably practice your tool handling skills.

Beautiful Beginner’s Projects

Projects are included for setting-in, low relief, high relief, pierced relief, and in the round. Get a solid grasp on the concepts and techniques required for woodcarving success while creating beautiful carvings to display.

Everything you need to know to get started in traditional woodcarving

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

Sharpening & More

Sharpening & More

Using Carving Tools

Using Carving Tools

Exercise Your Skills

Exercise Your Skills

Tools of the Trade

If you are new to carving, start here! You’ll find explanations and lists of the carving tools you’ll need, as well as supporting items such as vices and clamps.

Sharpening & More

Learn not just how to sharpen your tools, but also how to bring them into service for your carvings, including sanding and blade alignment.

Using Carving Tools

Learn beginner grips and cuts that are adaptable, safe, and comfortable. Proper tool control is vital in producing cuts that come out the way you want them.

Exercise Your Skills

Exercises and projects guide you through simple mouldings, lines, and matting, and onward to relief carving and in the round, so you can continue to build on your skills.

Work benchWork bench

Set up your workshop

Chris Pye takes you through best practices for your work space-everything from environment, lighting, and storage to your holding devices, hand tools, and big equipment. Learn about the best wood for carving and get some ideas for design.

Learn basic techniquesLearn basic techniques

Learn basic techniques

Carving grips, running cuts, stabbing cuts, stop cuts, sweeps, slicing, angle stabbing-it’s all described and illustrated here in Chris Pye’s easy-to-follow conversational teaching style.

Step by step instructionStep by step instruction

Step-by-step instructions

Directions are provided in clear, concise language, with step-by-step colour photos for each grip, cut, and project. Follow along to develop your skills and build a solid carving foundation.

Practice, practice, practice!Practice, practice, practice!

Practice, practice, practice!

With practice exercises, beginner’s projects, instruction on grips and cuts, and tips & tricks gathered over a lifetime of creative carving by master carver Chris Pye, you’ll be well equipped to begin your journey of creating beautiful, traditional woodcarvings for yourself, your family, and friends!

Work benchWork bench

Set up your workshop

Learn basic techniquesLearn basic techniques

Step by step instructionStep by step instruction

Practice, practice, practice!Practice, practice, practice!

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Chris Pye’s Woodcarving Course & Reference Manual: A Beginner’s Guide to Traditional Techniques (Fox Chapel Publishing) Relief Carving and In-the-Round Step-by-Step (Woodcarving Illustrated Books)

£10.99

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