Whittling is the art of carving shapes out of raw
woodwith a knife.
Whittling is typically performed with a light, small-bladed knife, usually a
pocket knife. Specialised whittling knives are available as well. They have thick handles which are easier to grip for long periods allowing precise control and pressure.
Occasionally the terms "whittling" and "carving" are used interchangeably, but they are different arts. Carving employs the use of
chisels, gouges, and a mallet, while whittling involves only the use of a knife. These days whittling is mainly a hobby and not a living like it used to be before carving machines were invented.
It is a custom that has been practiced worldwide for centuries. Some communities still hold whittling festivals and competitions. Whittling is a traditional sport in the Basque Country, where it is called porizaijlaza. In the southern Appalachians of the United States, it is not uncommon to see inhabitants whittle trinkets, walking canes, and other items from native cedar wood.
* [http://www.whittling.com/ Whittling as a hobby]
* [http://www.stuartking.co.uk/index.php/making-gypsy-flowers/ Making wooden Gypsy flowers]
* [http://www.chipchts.org/ National Wood Carvers Association] The NWCA is a non-profit association dedicated to the interests of amateur and professional carvers and whittlers. Annual dues are $14/year, which entitles you to the six Chip Chat magazine issues each year. The NWCA can give you the location of the local carving/whittling clubs.
Local clubs can also be found at Carving Magazine:
* [http://www.carvingmagazine.com/information/clubs.shtml Carving Magazine's club list]
Another list of worldwide local carving clubs is at:
* [http://www.woodburning.com/carving.asp woodburning.com]
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