Traditional Chinese Wood Carving Process
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Traditional Chinese Wood Carving: The Process

China Furniture and Arts has had over half a century of experience with wooden furniture design. Specializing in rosewood furniture, each of our rosewood pieces are handmade with the highest quality wood and craftsmanship. Similarly, our wood carvings are also handmade to perfection to add depth and sophistication to the furniture. Each carving can take hours to complete, but the craft takes years to master. The skill and beauty of carved wood furniture elegantly transforms each piece into functional art.


Relief carving, or carving on a flat wooden surface, begins with a design sketched on paper. The sketch is glued onto the surface of the wood to be a guide for carving. General outlines are carved onto the wood by a router according to the sketch. This precisely defines the edges of the relief. Next, the surrounding areas are removed to create a recessed background.


traditional chinese wood carving technique
traditional chinese wood carving technique

All of our carvings are handcrafted, which is especially important when using rosewood as it is extremely hard and thus very difficult carve. Hand carving allows carpenters total control over cuts to avoid damaging the wood.

Broad strokes are carefully added to further define edges of the relief. They must take into account grain direction and the design's location on the surface to avoid splintering or chipping the wood. Facial features and clothing folds are slowly added to create accents and more depth.

Additional tools are necessary to create other textures. A pointed chisel is used to add thin lines, presenting another dimension to the pattern. A small chisel is used to carve small details such as dragon scales, to further define the piece.


Primer is applied to the furniture's surface to fill in pores and other irregularities in the grain, allowing stains and paint to more easily bond with the wood. After the primer has dried, the furniture is hand-sanded. Sanding creates a slightly rough texture on the surface, further helping the stains and polish to adhere to the wood.

Stains are created by mixing basic colors. Stains are hand rubbed into the surface of the wood. To achieve a rich and vibrant finish, the pieces are repeatedly hand-rubbed up to 7 times. The stain enriches the carvings, presenting added depth and dimension.

chinese wood carving sample
chinese wood carving sample