Chip carving is arguably one of the earliest forms of woodcarving. It is a form of surface decoration created by removing two, three, four, or more sided chips of wood from the surface of the object being carved. Although chip carving can be found in virtually all cultures, the majority of the carving being done today is influenced by its European heritage.
Indeed, much of the chip carving seen today is the “Swiss Style” of chip carving popularized by Wayne Barton. With many books, a DVD and countless thousands of hours of teaching, he has almost single-handedly created the high level of interest that chip carving enjoys today.
Beyond Wayne’s boundless energy and enthusiasm for this style of carving, there are two very specific reasons for the rapid growth of Swiss style chip carving: Simplicity and results.
The simplicity of using only two knives to create such a wide variety of surface decorations has opened the door to wood carving for thousands of people. The results that can be obtained, once the basic technique is mastered, are incredible.
The two knives that we recommend are the Barton Premier Chip Carving Knives for the most basic of reasons: Simplicity and results. Two knives, and only two knives are required. Practice and the development of skill creates the results. There is no “magic knife” that can substitute for that skill. Rather, switching knives only complicates the process and hinders the development of the sought after skill. Likewise, the Barton ceramic stones are the preferred means of sharpening the Premier knives.
Suffice to say that this style of carving is a synergistic process. It is a relatively simple method using relatively simple tools creating extraordinary results. Leaving out any part of the equation, however seemingly insignificant, will almost certainly have a detrimental effect on the quality of the carving.