Simple Wood Carving - Flower (rosette)




Introduction: Simple Wood Carving - Flower (rosette)

Hello everyone!

This is going to be my first struggle to make a instructable. Pray for the best and be gentle.

First I want to say that this is my way of doing it! There are different techniques and methods. And let's be real in the art (no matter what it is) there is no right or wrong!!! If something works just do it. Like SHARPENING if you get the results you desire JUST DO IT and don’t listen what everyone say!

Of course еvery rule has an exception!!! You can sometimes find VERY useful Information and learn new tricks.

But remember safety first!

Second i start this instructable for couple of reasons:

  • there is not enough information (or I can't find it)
  • I don't see a lot of people trying to learn carving or try making something without a help of a machine!
  • you learn a lot more while teaching others

I have to say that I'm a noob in tha art of wood carving. But art is only for those who would be unhappy without it.

Еnough fairy tales. Let’s begin

P.S The first lessons you take in wood carving usually is geometric carving but we are awesome and going to move to the next one. And sorry for the bad writing or if I miss something. Please if you like ot help me improve or give me advice don't be affright to tell me.

Step 1: Tools and Others

First things first.

Grab a cup of coffee. After that collect the tools you need. In this case:

  1. Coffee
  2. Paper to draw
  3. Xuan paper (or rice paper! Don't know the correct word for it or at least I didn't find how to translate. If you know please share it with me) P.S you can use also indigo paper!
  4. Pencil
  5. Compass
  6. Ruler
  7. Eraser (for all the mistake)
  8. Soldier to protect you from all the mistake
  9. Wood mallet
  10. Some chisels (Why i don't give precise chisels? Your flower will have different curves)
  11. Scrap peace of wood (in this case the wood is beech. Just don't use something like pine)

Step 2: Drawing

I draw very badly so don't be afraid if you are like me. If you are good painter that's always a bonus. But if you are bad just keep drawing until you got something you like.

Grab a piece of paper and draw one small circle for the flower ovule (the central)and one big circle just for references the end of the flower petal. Divide the circle as you like (in this case into 10 equal parts).After that I find a coin that radius I like (and have the same gouge) and draw the end of the flower with it (petal). And that's how i get a basic shape for the flower. If you have different method and works for you JUST DO IT and forget my way.

P.S there is a very good song by Frank Sinatra - My Way

Make some chamfer on the edge so you can make more 3D look to it (make it more realistically). For that part i will I advise to observe nature!

Step 3: Transfer

In every project there is an easy part. Here is going to be transfer the drawing to the working piece.

Get the rice paper (Xuan paper) and put it on the drawing. Follow the lines with the pencil. After that rotate the rice paper with the pencil mark down to the work piece. And by following the lines again transfer your flower to the piece of wood.

Ta-da you have some drawing on the working piece of wood.

Step 4: Carving

The best part of the project for me!

Prepare the chisels and grab the coffee. It's break time to catch up your thoughts. Thanks the soldier for keeping it warm and safe.

Start by finding the right gouge for the job and make the curve with one or two lightweight hits with the wood mallet just to get it start. Continue with the lightweight hits until you set the lines. Work slow and don't try to do it with one strong hit. We don't want to split the wood or break a piece. PATIENCE!

TIPS: Always make your relief cut something like 85(or someting like that) not 90 degrees. The reason is that by going down and you make some mistake it will be harder to fix it. Thanks to the little agnle we give were are living more wood to work with. By doing it you can easily fix it and remove it when you are finish with it. Then make the final 90 degrees cut.

When you set the lines ready start getting the desired depth (again light hits) after that start removing material and try to make it look like a flower for the love of god. I hope the picture helps here because is hard for me to explain it with words. Maybe is time to start youtube chanel. I go for the center circle first after that i do all the edge and from there i get a big guns (gouge) and start removing the big part of the material (follow the pictures).

TIPS: When you go to the straight lines start with stronger hits on the top and by working your way to the centar lighter hits (it's like going from 10 to 0) so you can get more realistic flower. And when you are ready to doing the chamfer on the flower is going to be in reverse (it's from 0 to 10).

When you are done with the removing most of the materials and the straight lines. Grab a gouge that is going to make the inside part of the petal (it's your choice how curve you want it to be). And start slowly finishing the petal. Work with the grain! Don't make it your enemy. If the grain don't like you FIND a way to the grain heart.

From there I go for the centar of the flower. On the one of the picture you see how i see every one doing it (the four sides). But I go a little bit different. I start working with the grain (front and back) to the depth i like. Then i start workin the four sides. Be careful here is one of the steps i see a lot of people destroying their piece.

Finally we go to the chamfering the edge ot the flower so we can make it more live (3D look). Remember the tip form 0 to 10 now is the time to do it. Again go to the picture to see it in detail.

Step 5: Finish

The part we all wait "The End" so we can start a new project.

Now we have a simple flower ready for finish (for me is boiled linseed oil and beeswax). Also i like to leave it one step behind but if you like you can work with the gouge even more precise (i just like the rough texture).

The others flower you see have more details and are finish with the boiled linseed oil and beeswax. Just experiment with your work on future project.

P.S you can do all the work only with the 4 chisels(gouge) you see (there is five one i forgot) on the picture.

Sorry if i miss a part or didn't explain something better. But it's my first time and you will have to live with it.

Also i will like to hear from you what i can do better.

Оne last thought! I like acting, directing, reading, chess and making staff with me hands. And if some goof like me can get inspired by some video on youtube and realise that he lost 4 month of his life watching others. So he can get up and start making art. You can do it to!



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    32 Discussions


    5 months ago

    These are so beautiful. Too bad I don't have any of these tools....

    2 replies

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart! There is time for everything. We collect tools all our life! :)

    Very nice instructable and beautiful work! You have my vote! Best of luck!

    1 reply

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    I hope you like it and thank you for your support!

    Everyone has covered what I was going to say Michael & I wholeheartedly agree with them all..IMO you are a very nice bloke & I wish all the success in the world, James

    1 reply

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    All the best to you too!

    I have never enjoyed reading an instructibe more in my life! I loved it. Don’t change a darn thing. You have found your voice and it’s a lovely thing to hear. I could hear you talking! And your directions are complete. If you want, I can edit your future pieces for grammar and vocabulary (I’m a retired teacher), but only if you really want to change the way you write.

    2 replies

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart! A big YES I will love to get some help in that area. I know what I what to say but when the writing start ... it becomes scary for me :) I lost my youth in foolishness and now I want learn everthin possible in this life.

    This is MY FAVOURITE Instructable I’ve come across!! I feel as though I CAN DO IT -your attitude has infected me through the wonders of the internet! Thank you!!

    I have always had an admiration for woodwork and art through woodwork has me in awe!
    I would like to try this but I do not own chisels and I am scared to go to a shop as I can easily be talked into buying unnecessary things and to buy them online? I don’t know where to start ... there are an overwhelming amount available online... then there’s the choice of mallet, wooden, plastic... aaaand I’ve talkes myself out of this...

    1 reply

    Hahaha! First thank you from the bottom of my heart! Second don't be afraid if you realy need to go and give it a go. JUST DO IT. No need to be scared. Take your time and be PATIENCE! Before I get my first set and try my first work I research the internet for year! Then just buy one set of 20 chisels and start working with them. You can do almost everything а beginner will need. In one point I will make a series and go deep us i can go from A to Z :)

    Great instructable! Lots of good advice for a noob like me. Could you give the sizes of the chisels you used, just as a reference point? As someone who knows nothing about wood carving, that would be a great starting point.

    1 reply

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Here is a pictures with all the chisels I use! But usually if you get a set of 10 or 20 chisels will be a good start. Start drawing and find approximately the right chisels (gouge) for the right curve. And start learnig what chisels you have and try your drawing to much them.


    Beautiful I envy your amount of chisels ;-)

    1 reply

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart! But don't envy my chisels :) there are all handmakde and there is only 40 of them. One of the set (brown case) stay under water for 1 close to 2 years and whas in realy bad shape. So my friend (who owned them) say if you what to try restore them here you go. :) But i'm hoping someday to get close to 200 ;-)

    FANTASTIC! Beautiful work... well done. I really like your "Can do" attitude... Many people do not attempt something like this - or anything much - as they are scared of failure, or making a fool of themselves.

    You only learn by trying: by having a go. The more you try, the more you learn. Great job! You should be very proud of yourself!!!

    1 reply

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
    In the beginning I had the same problem. I was scared to draw just the flower!!! Because I was scared of failure! I think there is a breaking point and that is when you make 100 flowers the 101 will be the one you have be waiting for! After that your wings start growing and you don't feel the ground anymore. Just be PATIENCE!!! Every one can do it.
    This is my motto:
    "art is only for those who would be unhappy without it"
    and this keep me going!

    Thanks loads for this Michael. I have just received my first set of chisels and it's great to see a good guide on getting started. I can't wait to try. What wood would you recommend for a beginner? Are there any that are harder to work with than others for example? Oh and by the way the English version of Xuan paper is Tracing Paper.

    1 reply

    WOW! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Congratulations on your first set. Hope there will be more. I'm thinking to make а wood carving series from A to Z. There I will try to go deep as I can. But for now I can recommend what I start on "linden". Just google it and you will see it. The wood is perfect! Not to soft that when carving will split every time with every push or hit. And not to hard to make your hands hurt. I LOVE working with walnut, cherry (but I have alot of beech in my hand right now). The wood has to be NOT to soft and NOT to hard (in both way it's hard). You can use almost every thing that is not fragile when working. Let say you have pine and what to try working with it. It still can be work on but it pain in the *** (It's just to soft)! You will need very, very, very sharp chisels and it's better to make big details. You now what? If you have some try something simple so you can get the feel. What ever we talk here if you don't give it a go you will never truly you understand. Just grab every piece of scrap wood you can find (just know what it is) end try the same detail over and over. It's amazing how wood works!
    Thank for the translate of the Xuan paper. For every next instructable we are going to need the paper I will use the correct word :)