Book Review: Chip Carving by Tatiana Baldina
Chip carver Daniel Clay reviews a new book from Tatiana Baldina, one of today's most prolific and original chip carvers.
Tatiana Baldina is one of today’s most prolific and original chip carvers. Fortunately for us, her book Chip Carving: Geometric Patterns To Draw and Chip Out of Wood provides a meticulously detailed dive into her process, delivering a comprehensive manual and project book for learning skewknife chip carving, suited well to beginners and experienced carvers alike.
Over the course of 14 projects, arranged in order of progressing complexity, Baldina guides the reader through laying out designs by hand, and offers step-by-step instructions for carving each design. The first few chapters are devoted to Baldina’s thoughts and suggestions on tools and materials, pattern transfer, and a discussion of basic knife grips and carving techniques. These sections are followed by a chapter that guides the reader through completing Baldina’s practice board sampler, a necessary step in learning how to carve the individual shapes that make up the subsequent 14 designs. All of her detailed step-by-step instructions are accompanied by plenty of high-quality close-up photographs that leave no question about what her readers should do or what results they should be aiming for. In fact, if I had to choose a single word to describe Baldina’s approach—to both carving and writing—it would be “thorough.”
— Daniel Clay is a chip carver in Knoxville, Tenn.
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