Woodcarving is one of the earliest and most enduring skills known to man. It is a craft practised by almost every country and culture in the word. From the carved tombs of the Ancient Egyptians to the elaborate ornament of Grinling Gibbons, woodcarving has been used for everyday items, for art, decoration, and religion. It is as popular today as it’s ever been.

When Traditional Woodworking’s longest running series, Carving by Numbers, began in May 1994, it was an immediate hit. Our readers, from furniture makers and carpenters to woodturners and restorers, followed Mike Davies’ step-by-step instructions and found they could create beautiful and impressive carvings.

The basic premise was this; carving could be taught to people of all skill levels with the use of a simple set of numbered chisels and clear instructions. It was a simple concept; the wood was marked out, each chisel profile was given a number and the carving began.

There was no confusion over which chisel to choose, or which way it should be held, as each project was provided with a sequence of photographs and accompanying text. Mike gave a brief historical background of the piece to be carved and ran a make your own tools section. He even set up a carving hotline for troubled readers.

In this book you will find a range of projects which can all be made following the carving by numbers guidelines. They will make attractive pieces in their own right and, equally, can be used to decorate wooden furniture and panels or to transform boxes and turned work. Most importantly they are designed for anyone who wants to learn this ancient and graceful skill.

Happy carving!

Helen Adkins

Traditional Woodworking