relief carving in wood

What Is Relief Carving?

Are you looking to try a new woodworking project? Relief carving can be a fun and rewarding hobby to pick up. In this craft, the subject pops out of a flat wooden panel and is created with specific techniques and tools. Before you get started, here’s what you should know about relief carving:

Relief carving vs. other techniques

Most wood carving projects are three-dimensional figures, animals, or designs like an engraved sign. However, wood relief carving is about carving shapes inside the wooden block, and your finished product is a wood board with your carving coming out of it.

Types of relief carving

Low relief carving 

Also referred to as bas relief carving, images carved on top of the background are elevated slightly from the base. The impression given is a carved shape on top of the wood block, when you’ve actually been deepening the surface.

High relief carving

In this type of carving, the focus is coming out of the background. For a proper high relief carving, the wood thickness should be twice as big as the project you wish to create, since wood warping will damage the whole panel.

Deep relief wood carving 

Also referred to as sunken relief, these carvings are designed deep underneath the outside layer, and they can appear like an optical illusion inside a wooden frame. 

Pierced relief 

This is a newer relief carving style which requires drilling holes inside a panel. This see-through structure is much better to conduct with thinner panels. In order to keep the panel intact, you need to dedicate a lot of time and skill to execute it properly.

UJ Ramelson is dedicated to providing the best quality products and service to all of our customers. Our wood carving, jewelry, and other craftsman tools are hand forged, heat treated, and tempered by our own experts. Contact us to learn more about the products we offer and how we can help on your next project.