Lora Irish Wood Carving Patterns

August 2015 Happenings Around the Studio

Free Lora Irish Pyrography Project



free wood burning project by Lora IrishCeltic Knot Birds Postage Stamp Wood Burning Project
In-depth, step-by-step wood burning project

Free Postage Stamp Pyrography Project, Sponsored by Art Designs Studio:
Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4, and Page 5

Learn free online at !!!



New Lora Irish Wood Carving Patterns



Lora Irish Wood Carving PatternsCP137 Sampler Pattern Package by Lora Irish

126 Line Art Patterns and 72 Shaded Drawings
Wood Carving, Pyrography, Quilting, and any Craft Project

Not sure which pattern package at Art Designs Studio to chose?
Try our new Sampler Package, featuring a variety of our favorite
designs, topics, and themes.

Another Lora Irish Exclusive Pattern Pack


New Lora Irish Pyrography Pattern Pack




Lora Irish Wood Carving PatternsPostage Stamp Pattern Package by Lora Irish
90 Line Art Patterns, featuring postage stamp frames, accents, and banners.
Celtic Knots, Wood Spirits, Greenmen, and Finished Sample Ideas

Another Lora Irish Exclusive Pattern Pack




Free Lora Irish pyrography Project PDF



free Lora Irish Pyrography Project PDFFree Lora Irish Pyrography Postage Stamp Project PDF

We are so excited about our New Postage Stamp Pattern Package
that we have included a Free Pyrography Project PDF on our
Pattern website at

No gimmicks, no newsletter sign-ups, no gathering of your
personal information … Just Plain FREE FREE FREE!



Copyright, Lora S. Irish, 1997 – 2015  Art Designs, 1997 – 2015
All International Rights Reserved
Use of any information, images, or text in digital or printed format or in any magazine, book, or booklet is strictly prohibited without
the written, hard copy permission of the author, Lora Irish.

This is new work, created after May 2013, by Lora S. Irish. Use in part or whole by any publishing company
is strictly prohibited without a written, signed, and dated contract for this new work with the author.
June 01, 2015


July 4th Freebie!

July 4th Freebie Pattern Pack

LSIrish July 4th Freebie Pack

 Click on the link above for your free download pattern pack.

Free Lora Irish Pattern PackageHave you had that burning desire to create your own quilting batik wax stamps?  Have you been looking for wallpaper border stencils?  Do you need something special for this 4th of July scrapbook photos?

Well, we have what you want — and its absolutely free!

Our LSIrish July 4th Freebie Pattern Package includes 4 small quilt square motifs, 4 large quilt square motifs, and 3 star border motifs.  Plus you will find fabric idea samples and a simple Nine Patch quilt layout for your personal use.

Hope you have fun with this one!  And, please, email me through our contact page, above, with photos of what you have created.

Free Lora Irish Pattern Package

Happy 4th!!!!!


free wood carving projects by Lora Irish

Carving the Wood Spirit Face, Lora Irish

Two New Free Online Series
of Free Carving, Pyrography, and Craft Projects
Great Book of Free Carving Projects & Patterns by Lora S. Irish
Great Book of Free Pyrography Projects & Patterns by Lora S. Irish


Stop by often at our carving, pyrography, and craft pattern site, to see what Great New Books you can have for free for Carving Patterns, Pyrography Projects,  and Craft Designs by Lora Irish!

Free Wood Spirit Carving Project by Lora IrishGreat Book of Free Carving Projects and Patterns by Lora S. Irish Online Series

The first release in my new, free online series  is an in-depth tutorial on how to carve the wood spirit face using the planes of the human face as our guidelines.  Join me as we work through the detailed steps and 199 photographs to learn how easy the Wood Spirit is to carve.



Wood Spirit Carving,
Free Project by Lora Irish
1 Introduction and Supply List
2 Walking Stick Preparation
3 Exploring the Human Face
4 Planes of the Human Face
5 Carve The Human Face
6 Shaping the Facial Features
7 Sloping the Sides of the Face
8 Rough Cutting the Features
9 Carving the Eyes
10 Detailing the Eyes
11 Shaping the Features
12 Defining the Cheek and Nose
13 Working the Facial Hair
14 Refining the Face Shape
15 Carving the Wrinkles
16 Trimming the Beard
17 Review of the Techniques


So, Gang, pull up your chair to your computer screen seat at my class table, and let’s have some FREE FREE FREE wood carving, and pyrography fun.

Lora S. Irish, June 01, 2015

Copyright, Lora S. Irish, 1997 – 2015
Art Designs, 1997 – 2015
All International Rights Reserved
Use of any information, images, or text in digital or printed format
or in any magazine, book, or booklet is strictly prohibited without
the written, hardcopy permission of the author, Lora Irish.

This is new work, created after May 2013, by Lora S. Irish.
Use in part or whole by any publishing company
is strictly prohibited without a written, signed,
and dated contract for this new work with the author.
June 01, 2015


Chip Carving Hand Positions and Grips

chip carved cookie pressToday’s session of our Free Online In-depth wood carving Winter 2014 Seminar, taught by Lora Irish, wood carving and pyrography book author and line art pattern maker, will focus on the hand positions and knife cutting positions for chip carving.



Chip Carving Seminar
Chip Carving Supplies
Chip Carving Graphed Patterns
Chip Carving Hand Positions and Grips
Chip Carving – Triangles and Square Chips
Chip Carving – Straight-Wall Chips
Chip Caved Game and Chess Board
Chip Carving Sampler Pattern Layout
Chip Carving Common Mistakes
Chip Carved Shortbread Cookies



As a small treat I have posted my favorite shortbread cookie recipe that I use with my handmade chip carved cookie presses.  Hope you enjoy them as much as my family does.

Basic Hand Positions for Chip Carving

How you hold your knife and how you rest your hand against your chip carving wood project determines the angle of the chip walls.  Let’s look at the basic positions used to create the angle and depth of your cuts.

Lay your chip knife into the palm of your hand, with the top edge of the wood handle in the bend of your index finger.  The handle crosses the palm along the natural fold of the palm.  Keep a light, loose grip.  Too much tension on the knife can make large cuts difficult to execute and will cause your hand to tire quickly.

triangle chip carving cutThree and Four Sided Chips

The three-sided triangle chip is the most common cut chip in this wood carving style.  The knife is held at 45 degrees to the wood as it is pushed into one leg of the triangle.  The point of the blade cuts to the center point of the well inside the chip.  In the photo, the black dot in the center of the triangle pattern is the point of the chip well.


straight-wall chip carving cutStraight-wall Chips

Straight-wall chips have two sides of the chip cut with the knife between 85 to 90 degrees of the wood.  The intersection point of these two sides creates the deepest corner of the chip.  The knife is places with the point of the blade at the corner point of the two straight sides, then pushed into the wood.


straight-wall chip carving cutSloped Floor to Straight-wall Chips

To create the sloped floor of the straight-wall chip the knife is dropped low to the wood.  Slide the blade point into the straight-wall corner, thinly slicing the third side of this chip.  For large straight-wall chips I use  a detail wood carving bench knife, instead of my large chip knife.  The added length of the bench knife blade allows me to drop the cut dramatically.


curved-edge chip carving cutsCurved-edge Chips

Many designs have curved-edges to some of the chips.  Curves are cut by changing the angle of the knife from the wood as you move the blade through the curved line.  Begin with your knife held at a 45 degree angle to the wood.  As you pull the knife towards the center point of the pattern line, gradually drop the angle of the blade to the wood – close to a 30 degree angle.  To work the second half of the pattern line, gradually raise the blade back to the 45 degree position.

Changing the angle as you pull through the stroke enables to blade point to reach the center point in the chip well.

Free Form Lines

Free form lines are made using two side cuts instead of the traditional three or four-sided chips.  This creates a v-trough line that begins at a fine point, widens at the center point of the line, then narrows back to a point.  Use the same knife angles as you would for a curved-edge chip.

chip carving sampleSample Chip Carving

The chip carving sample, shown right, uses all of the basic chip styles – triangle, square, straight-wall, curved-edge, and free form.  You can see how the angle of the blade to the wood determines the slope of the chip walls.

As a fun note, the bottom three large leaf-shaped cuts are cut as a curved-edge or free form chip.  This type of chip was very common during the early 1900’s and often called Spoon Carving.


negative space in wood chip carvingPositive and Negative Space

The areas that you cut in a chip carving are called positive space – these areas have actually been worked.  Those areas that you do not cut and that are left at the original level of the wood are called negative space – space you have not cut.

You can dramatically change the look of any chip carving pattern by controlling the positive and negative space in the design.  In the photo sample you can clearly see a zig-zag pattern beneath the top border chip carved pattern.  The dramatic shadows inside of the straight-wall chips in the rows above and below this un-carved line makes that zig-zag prominent.  In the large border pattern, below the zig-zag, an inverted diamond has been left un-carved.  Again, the shadows of the straight-wall chips that surround this area brings that diamond visually forward.  The small cross pattern inside the un-carved diamond was made using a push stroke with the stab knife.

Free Chip Carving Pattern by Lora IrishToday’s Free Chip Carving Patterns by Lora Irish from

Click on the image, right, for a full-sized printable pattern.

Here’s your treat for today!  Over the weekend please gather your supplies – basswood practice boards, chip carving knives, removable spray adhesive, 320-grit sandpaper.  On Monday, January 20th we will begin cutting the sample patterns using the six types of chip carving cuts – triangle, square and rectangle, straight-wall, curved-edge, free form, and accent chips.

Thanks for reading!

Celtic Dragon Wood Carving by Lora Irish

Wood Carving Celtic Dragon 1

Beginner Level Wood Carving Project

This quick, easy, and fun Celtic Dragon pattern is perfect for your first endeavor into relief wood carving.  It uses a very basic set of carving tools, a bench knife, and a pre-routed basswood plaque.  Your dragon carving can be completed in just one weekend.

Over the next several days I will be posting all of the step you need to create your own Celtic knot relief carving project.  Please bookmark our blog so that you don’t miss any of the fun.  I hope that you will share this link on your favorite wood carving forum or message board.

Please take a moment and download our free PDF e-book, Your First Carving.  This is an in-depth look at the woods, tools, terminology, and techniques used in relief wood carving, written and shared by Lora S Irish.

Wood Carving Celtic Dragon 1
Wood Carving Celtic Dragon 2
Wood Carving Celtic Dragon 3

Celtic Dragon Wood Carving by Lora IrishSupply List:

8” x 10” x 3/4” (203 x 254 x 19mm) router-edged basswood plaque
Bench knife
Large and small round gouges
Wide sweep round gouge
Straight chisel
Sharpening tools and strop
220-grit sandpaper
Graphite tracing paper
Painter’s tape
Ruler and/or compass
Soft, clean cloth
Stiff toothbrush or brass wire brush
Thick terry cloth towel or non-slip mat
Depth Gauge

free celtic dragon knot by Lora IrishPreparation of the carving board

1.  Most of the supplies used in this project can be obtained online at your favorite wood carving supply house, through, or at your local large craft store.  The sandpaper, painter’s tape, ruler, compass, and brass wire brush are available through most hardware stores.

2.  Using 220-grit sandpaper lightly sand your plaque, working the sandpaper with the grain of the wood.  Avoid sanding against the grain or in circular swirl strokes.  This will leave fine scratches that can appear during the painting and staining steps.

3.  Sand again using 320-grit sandpaper.  Remove all of the sanding dust using a dry, clean cloth.

free wood carving celtic knot dragon pattern by Lora IrishTransferring your Pattern

Click on the pattern images to the right and save a copy to your Desktop.  Print one copy of each pattern – the outline tracing pattern and the shaded contour pattern.

Center the pattern to the board, secure one side using painter’s tape.  Slide a sheet of graphite paper under the pattern paper with the graphite side against the wood.  Using an ink pen and light hand pressure trace along the outer boundary lines of each element of the dragon.  Remove the pattern and graphite papers.

Learn more about how to work with your patterns and tracing.


wood carving tool setGather your wood carving supplies

For this carving I am using a nice quality Japanese carving tools set which includes a large round gouge, small round gouge, straight chisel, skew chisel, and v-gouge.  Carving tool sets can cost between $25 per set up to several hundred dollars.  I strongly advise any beginner to start with an inexpensive tool set while you discover which style of wood carving will be your favorite.

Learn more about creating a basic wood carving tool kit.

Suggested tool list at :

Ramelson 6 Piece Palm Set Tools, 1/8″ to 1/4″ Profile
Raemlson 6 Piece Long Handle Beginners Carving Tools
Flexcut 3 Knife Starter Set
FLEXCUT Carving Kit – 5 Piece
FLEXCUT Carving Kit – 11 Piece
Flexcut Slipstrop
Power Grip Carving Tools, Seven Piece Set
Walnut Hollow 8-Inch by 10-Inch Basswood Rectangle Plaque
Walnut Hollow 8″ by 10″ Basswood French Corner Wide Edge Plaque

stop cut in relief wood carvingCutting the background area

1.  Mark a 1/4″ margin using a pencil and ruler along the outer raised carving area of your plaque.  This 1/4″ area will remain uncarved, at the original level of the wood. During the next two steps treat this margin line as if it were a boundary line to your pattern.

2.  This project begins with dropping the background area of the plaque to free the dragon pattern for carving.  With a bench knife or large chip carving knife, cut along the outer boundary lines of the dragon pattern.  Hold the knife vertical to the wood and slowly pull along the tracing line.  Stop cuts are made in several shallow cuts instead on one deep lunge of t he knife tip.

3.  Using the small or large round gouge, rougehout the background.  Lay the center of the gouge about 1/2″ to 1″ from the stop cut tracing line.  Glide the gouge into the stop cut.  This will release a small chip of wood.


stop cut using a bench knifestop cut using a chip carving kniferoughing out the background with a round gouge
1.  The background rough-out step begins with a stop cut made with a bench knife or chip carving knife.2.  Hold the knife vertical to the wood and make several shallow cuts along the tracing lines.3.  Use a round gouge to carve from the background area into the stop cut line at the pattern edge.









rough out cuttingthe background of a relief wood carving4.  The rough-out stage may take several layers of round gouge cutting.  As you deepen your background re-cut the stop cut along the outer pattern line to slowly drop the straight-edged wall along the dragon.  My final layer of round gouge cuts was worked with the grain (vertical to the plaque) to set all of the carving strokes in one direction. More about Background treatments for your relief wood carving.

Determining the depth of your relief carving

The depth of your carved background and carved design is determined by how thick your carving board is.  As a general rule the carving is cut to approximately 1/2 the depth or thickness of the wood at the deepest point.  For a 3/4″ board this makes the background drop about 3/8″ deep.  More about Determining the depth of a carving.

Please join me tomorrow, November 16, 2013, as we work through the shaping and contour steps for this Celtic Dragon Knot pattern.  Thank you, Lora Irish

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