I have taken a little time to clean up some of the roughest cuts in my background area. This lets me see the outer cut edges of each level more clearly and it lets me check that my depth is true all along those outer lines.
I begin the clean-up using my wide sweep gouge and bull nose chisel. Lay your gouge low against the wood in a prone position. Gently shave the high ridges of the rough cuts. Shaving removes extremely thin slivers of wood – thin enough that you can read a newspaper through the slices.
The bull nose chisel is a straight chisel that has had the outer corners rounded over during sharpening. A straight chisel can leave straight scratches in your background areas because of those sharp corners.
The bull nose or a skew chisle is excellent for cleaning the walls of your levels and for scraping tight areas smooth. Hold the tool in an upright position and drag the cutting edge over the ridges in the background. The edge is scrap the background smooth.
As a relief carver I use my chisels upside down, with the cutting angle against the wood. The chisel leads into the wood according to the cutting angle placement. When the angle is up, so that you can see it, the blade pushed down into the wood.It takes a quick, deep bite. Turn the chisel over an the angle lays the cutting edge almost parallel to your wood, taking a thin, controllable slice.
Two classic oriental bird mantel piece designs. Lotus Flower Mantel in two sizes, Peonies Mantel in two sizes. Plus two border corner designs, the Cherry Blossom corner and the Lattice Work corner.