Today I want to tell you more about working in a cherry wood.

A few years ago at the end of my high school for the diploma, I prepared a bas-relief “Circle of life” carved in this type of wood. Interestingly, the bas-relief took the second place in the bas-relief category in the nationwide competition and I have visited Brussels as a prize 😀

I know it’s a bit like “reheating steak”, but since I’m waiting for the delivery of wood, I will tell a bit about my own experience with woodworking. I will not analyze the work and I will leave it to your own appraisal for its artistic and aesthetic value.

Working with “Circle of Life” //Weronika

Initially, I chose pear wood. It had definitely calmer and more unified graining. The color that I managed to get were in shades from delicate yellows, oranges to greens. My bas-relief was up to 1 meter in diameter before cutting. I did not want the floral elements to fill the whole surface because it would become quite heavy in perception. I needed a wood that would be more heterogeneous in color. Flat surfaces  would be nice to look at without interfering the carved structure.

So the decision was made to change the wood to cherry. In the pictures you can see the colors, grain and general effect of cherry wood. Cherry wood is a very decorative type of wood. When using a clear oil, the whole took on a nice honey pink shade. It is assumed that cherry wood is colorized in the following way – sapwood: yellowish-white, heartwood from pale yellow to red and brown.

When it comes to sculpting in cherries, it is quite an easy wood for processing. However, you must be careful with strong perpendicular cuts because it is easy to split the wood. What is important – it is not a ductile material so we can pass lightly between summer and winter increments. However, you have to be careful because the sapwood itself is very soft. The material can be ground, but it is not necessary. When using fine, sharp chisels it subtly shines on the plane of cuts.

The very surface of the boards is very vulnerable to damage, so I do not want to put anything on the front side of the bas-relief. It’s worth starting work definitely from some initial design, so we can consciously act in favor of our work.

Cherry wood will not work well if you want to carve a multi-element composition with emphasis on a large number of small details because the carved element will simply disappear in the drawing and the whole will be illegible.

Remember to paint your work on two sides with varnish or oil, wood painted on one side is very easy to curl and even breaks.

To sum up, working with fruit wood is a pleasant job, although it requires a little more experience and, above all, greater patience. The sculptor’s mallet also becomes a great facilitation.

Sorry for image quality, but it was done ages ago with calculator 😛

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