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What They Do

Craft Artists Career Video

Insider Info

A carver is anyone who creates objects out of materials such as wood, stone, bone and shell.

A carver's job begins long before the first whittle into wood. First, they go out and locate the materials needed for the sculpture. This can mean tramping through the woods or searching for just the right stone.

Next, the carver draws a design for the piece. This may involve research to locate a traditional design. Once this preparatory work is done, the carver can begin their work, chipping into the material to create an image.

Beyond working on the sculpture, carvers also deal with galleries. They may create carving tools, teach or hold public seminars.

Carvers may work alone or in groups. Often, these groups have one master carver and a few apprentices. Carvers can work in several locations: at a studio, in the home or in workshops.

Carvers can be commissioned to do work for private citizens, government agencies or arts organizations. Others simply create their work to sell at a later date.

A carver's workday can be flexible, depending on the amount of work needing to be completed. Carvers may need to travel to find materials and to sell their sculptures.

Carvers' jobs can be physically demanding, depending on the type of work. They need to have good drawing skills, be able to think in 3D and have good manual dexterity. They may use hand tools such as saws, files and engraving tools. They may also operate power tools such as drills and polishing machines. They may need to wear safety equipment such as eye masks, dust masks and ear protection.

At a Glance

Use wood and stone to create art

  • Besides working on sculptures, carvers might create carving tools, teach or hold public seminars
  • You'll need safety equipment such as eye masks, dust masks and ear protection
  • Learn from a master carver


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