The woodcarvers of Val Gardena usually prefer three types of wood, hard maple wood, soft lime wood and the equally soft Swiss pine. While maple and lime are among the hardwood species, Swiss stone pine is a softwood.
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Maple, lime and Swiss stone pine
The maple wood is distinguished by its light creamy white color and is difficult to carve. It is considered one of the most valuable hardwoods and is used to make wooden statues up to 40 cm high. Prefabricated pantographs are handmade. The most minute details can be worked out particularly well. The same applies to the soft lime wood. This type of hardwood is an excellent carving wood, which is characterized by its pink-white to light yellow color and few knots.
Also the swiss stone pine wood is soft, but unlike the linden tree almost without knots, has many branches. The Swiss stone pine grows in high mountain regions and is one of the precious woods. When carving, it must be taken into account that the reddish-yellow color of the Swiss stone pine darkens considerably and also has a special but pleasant scent.
Other suitable wood types
Another wood suitable for carving is oak wood. This type of adult wood has a narrow ring structure and is extremely strong. Although wood is hardwood, it is good to carve. However, felled logs require a long drying time. Usually, it is used more as wood for furniture, construction or construction. Incidentally, oak wood can be kept under water almost indefinitely. Amsterdam and Venice, for example, were largely built on oak poles in the water.
The larch wood is one of the oldest varieties of conifers and is characterized by colorful veins. In order to prevent larch wood from suffering a strong tendency to break, the wood must be allowed to dry long and carefully before processing. Larch wood, which is hardly inflammable, is also suitable for barrels. The wood grain is particularly emphasized with the help of a "Bunsen" beak; the wood is particularly suitable for outdoor use.
The elm has a particularly harmonious wooden structure. The chocolate-colored grain is obtained from various logs and stick shoots, which translates into a very lively image of the wood. The elm wood is hard and preferably used by modern carvers who use chainsaws to create their artwork. Elm wood is also used for tool handles or cart wheels.
The chestnut tree has excellent carving properties and is a clear and sharp wood. Thanks to its resistance to atmospheric agents, the chestnut wood is often used in outdoor areas. The wood also has a nice grain and is a good substitute for teak.
Poplar is a common carving wood. The big poplar wood has a damp interior and must dry for a long time before processing. It is then pleasantly light. Thanks to its overgrown annual rings, poplar wood is very tear-resistant and is considered "hardwood with softwood properties". Poplar wood is well suited for carving interior sculptures. However, the rather unattractive image of the wood requires subsequent varnishing.
The resin-free yew is characterized as an excellent wood turner with a magnificent natural color. The yew wood The heavy and hard yew has an intensive coring with narrow annual rings. In addition, the wood has a high elasticity and is suitable for making arches.
The olive wood is a very decorative wood with a dark and grainy core. The dominant colors of the wood are brown, red, yellow and green. Olive wood is very hard and does not swell in contact with water. It can be machined or carved by hand and must dry slowly over a long period of time so that it does not break later.
Hard and heavy. The trunk grows slightly twisted and can be used for carving.
It is quite suitable for carving. The fig wood was the preferred choice for representations of phallic worship.
The birch wood is light in color and has a smooth and even grain. It is suitable for carving, but our experience has shown that it can "break" faster than other types of wood.
Pear wood is also very hard and easy to carve. The heartwood turns pink and has a uniform color.