Carving a Camellia Flower – Beginner Lesson #8

2017-05-23T16:53:39-04:00 June 28th, 2012|

This is a brief introduction to "Carving a Camellia."

This Beginner Lesson is available to FREE Members.

This lesson shows how to carve a camellia flower (similar to a rose). It covers a lot of wonderful carving techniques - working with the grain, creating depth by making overlapping petals, and working with different gouges.

  • Lesson Contents: 2 episodes; template, tool list, photo, and written instructions in Episode 1
  • Type of Wood: Basswood
  • Dimensions: 5-1/4"w x 4"h x 3/16"d
  • Skill Level: Beginner
= More Lessons at the Basic Skill Level =


  1. mike1940 March 19, 2015 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    Just curious to know Mary if this camellia flower should be further refined or not. I kind of like the tool marks because it does illustrate that it has been carved with hand tools, but what would you do?

    • Mary May March 19, 2015 at 9:15 pm - Reply

      You can certainly clean up the tool marks if you wish. Quite often the lessons I show really get up to a certain point of making the details, but if I wanted it to be really “cleaned up” I might spend another 20 or 30 minutes going over the surfaces and getting rid of tool marks. You can also sand the surface, but I try to resist that – I simply don’t like sanding, and it also changes the surface of the wood. Sometimes it’s the only way to get the desired affect. Just be careful not to lose any of the sharp details with sanding.

      Then again, the tool marks make it really hand-carved.

  2. Ruth DAmbrosio May 31, 2016 at 12:12 pm - Reply


    Thank you. Found them. Its amassing to go through lesson 13 and see a teacher, teach something she loves.

    • Mary May June 1, 2016 at 11:04 pm - Reply

      I DO love to carve! Have fun!

  3. Claudio J. Oliveira February 15, 2018 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    Estou verdadeiramente aprendendo muito
    Mais do que eu imaginava


    Claudio J Oliveira

    I am truly learning a lot
    More than I imagined

    • MaryMay February 19, 2018 at 9:11 am - Reply

      Thank you!

  4. Bonnie Luidl March 20, 2018 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    I did the Celtic clover leaf recently. It can be very mind numbing. I have to do more work on it to clean it up, but love the look.

    • MaryMay March 26, 2018 at 2:29 pm - Reply

      Have fun!

  5. Dan Moerman January 6, 2019 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Hi all. I have some questions for Mary.

    1. Lighting. I find my hands are always blocking the light. In low relief carvings like the camelia flower, I need to see the shadows. What do you do for lighting??

    2. Cleanup. I notice that you frequently blow off the chips. When I do that, they end up all over the place. Do you cleanup before or after a session?

    3. Starting a session. Seems to me I heard you say you sharpen your tools before you start. But as a novice, I don’t know which tools I’m going to use. I don’t have a fractions of the tools you have, but if I sharpened all of them, even just a honing, it would be time to prepare dinner. Is it reasonable/efficient to sharpen as you pick up a new tool?

    4. btw, this is a lot of fun!!!

    • MaryMay January 10, 2019 at 9:40 am - Reply

      Hi dan, in answer to your questions:
      1. I try to have side lighting on my bench to show shadows. A small table lamp works.
      2. :)) I wish I was that disciplined. Maybe I like the clutter, but I don’t get too stressed about the cleanliness of my shop. Maybe I need an apprentice to clean my shop every evening…
      3. I don’t sharpen all my tools before each lesson, but strop them on the leather if necessary. With each lesson I show what tools I use at the beginning, so hopefully that will narrow it down. I also really try and limit the gouges I use in a lesson to the bare minimum.
      4. Great!!

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