Wood carving or woodworking is generally created by the use of a cutting tool or knife in one hand or a chisel and mallet in the other, resulting in a wooden figure or figurine, or in the sculptural design of a wooden object. The phrase may also refer to the finished product, from individual sculptures to hand-worked mouldings composing part of a tracery.
The making or carving of sculpture in wood has been extremely widely practiced but doesn’t survive as well as the other main materials like stone and bronze, inevitably it is susceptible to decay, insect damage, weather conditions/climate, and fire. It, therefore, forms an important hidden element in the art history of many cultures. Outdoor wood sculptures do not last long in most parts of the world, so it is still unknown how the totem pole tradition developed. Many of the most important sculptures of China and Japan, in particular, are in wood, and so are the great majority of African sculpture and that of Oceania and other regions. Wood is also much easier to work or carve on than stone.
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