Wine Barrel Carving by Maryland Artist Tom Crowl.

Wine Barrel Carving Process
Step Five - Carving Actually Begins!

Cutting the outline of the barrel design.You can barely see the carbon tracing of the pattern on the wood.  The first step of carving is to use the V tool.  The tool is named that because the blade is in the shape of a V so it cuts a fine groove. 

Because oak likes to splinter, a sharp V tool is carefully used to outline each aspect of the design.   The tool breaks the surface of the oak without weakening the fibers of the wood.  This helps keep the edges of the design strong and there is less chance of the oak splintering at the cut later.  

The barrel carving design is outlined using a V chisel.Above, you see my hand apparently cutting at a very odd angle.  My other hand was using a beech mallet to tap the chisel along it's path.  For the outline and heavy wood removal, I use the mallet to help the chisel carve.  For close work and details, hands, shoulders and back force the chisels through the wood.

To the right, the basic outline has been completed.  Note the label from which the design was created, laying on the barrel head.  

Step Six - Removing the background...

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Crafty Owl Primitives * Tom & Dierdre Crowl
P.O. Box 2131  *  Westminster, MD. 21158