Discussions on this forum are membership-run. I (Mary May) will monitor conversations and will try and contribute as needed. However, I can't guarantee that I will always have time to keep up with the discussions. Please feel free to contribute, as the only way this forum will be successful is if members get involved! I will also be the "judge and juror" with inappropriate, rude, or offensive behavior, so play nice!
The discussions on this forum can be read by anyone, but if you would like to join in and participate, please login or register as a Free Member.

Finishing Ash Wood Carving

It’s a start. Should I continue to lower the background to give it more depth? Will a stain help it pop? It’s ash wood

Uploaded files:
  • E6BB45E9-DE1D-4133-8469-0EDCD93D5D8B.jpeg
  • F2A8F963-AAC5-4206-B51B-5205710C3D38.jpeg

Hi Peter,

It really depends on what you are trying to show. The v-cut effect is very good in showing the details, so I'm not sure if you really need to do much more. You could always lower the background down more, but it isn't really necessary. This type of carving is sort of like "drawing" with a v-chisel and shows good detail. Sometimes we try and show too much and it gets distracting. Maybe leave these as they area and try another deeper and see what effect you like better. It's all experimentation!

Oh, about the stain - I am not sure how ash soaks in at end grain, but I would suggest sealing it with shellac first, and then applying stain and wiping it of the surface and let the stain stay in the v-cuts. It will make the carved part stand out nicely.

How exactly does shellac work? When you put on the shellac do you put it on the carved area too? Then when you put on stain, stain wipes off the shellac area but soaks into the carves area even though there is shellac in the carves area?

Hi Julia,

I put the shellac on every part of the carving - both the uncarved area and the carved area. This seals in the grain so you have more control of the color. Think about it as putting a shield over the wood. Then you can do whatever you want with color or stain. Brush it across the entire surface of the carving. Let the stain settle into the deeper areas of the carving and then with a cloth, wipe off the surface stain, leaving the deeper areas with the dark stain still in it. I would suggest spraying can shellac over the surface to seal this in, but it's not necessary.