Date 03/09/2015


Carving is a form of handicrafts handed down through generations since ancient times. Originally, fruits and some kinds of vegetables were used to be carved into flowers, leaves, animals and designs before using them as food items or for decorations. At present, this form of art has been revitalized and conserved, and teaching in this subject is provided from elementary to secondary school levels.

carving carving
General Characteristics of Soft-texture Materials
The materials used for carving should possess the following characteristics :
  1. Soft texture, yet able to hold shape in general condition.
  2. The material is able to be cut by knife or carving tools.
Quality of the Materials
Some kinds of materials is available locally, some are man-made, therefore, they are categorized into 2 groups :
  1. Natural materials : are materials which are natural-born e.g. plants, vegetables, fruits, etc.
  2. Synthetic materials : are man-made materials available from factories, some of which have the texture which is suitable for carving e.g. candle, soap, foam block.
Features of Carving
The features of carving, categorized by the carving method, are as follows :
  1. Groove : is the cutting of the texture of material into grooves to make designs.
  2. Relief : is the making of designs by cutting away the area around the design to make it lower, thus the design stands out as a relief.
  3. Free standing : is the carving of a 3-dimensional design that can be viewed from all directions.
Carving tools are used by considering the hardness of material to be carved. The tools comprise :
  1. Thin knife : used for cutting and making rough shape of the design.
  2. Carving knife : is a small knife with pointed end, of which the handle may be made of metal, animal horn, or wood. This kind of knives is used for carving bulb vegetables, vegetables, and fruits, or may be used for carving soap or candle.
  3. Set carving tools : are set of small carving tools with edge of various shapes e.g. v-shape, u-shape, diagonal and straight edges, used specifically for carving candle and soap.
  4. Foam cutter : is the knife with very thin and sharp blade, which is contractible and can be broken by pre-made traces to take away the blunt edge, used for cutting and making designs on foam sheet or block.
Keeping and Maintenance of Tools

The carving knife and thin-blade knife must always be sharpened in order to keep a regular and clear cut designs. After use, the knife must be sharpened, dried and keep in specific box, away from children’s reach.


The carving tools set should be oiled after use to prevent rusting, then keep in specific box. Foam cutter’s blade should be contracted after use to prevent accident.

Equipment in Vegetable and Fruit Carving
Equipment used in vegetable and fruit carving are :
  1. Utensils for placing vegetables or fruits to be carved e.g. plates, trays, etc.
  2. Utensils for placing vegetables and fruits during carving.
  3. Utensils for holding water for washing or soaking the vegetables.
  4. Thin white cloth used for covering the vegetables and fruits to keep their freshness.
  5. Banana or lotus leaves used for wrapping the vegetables to keep their freshness.
  6. Box for keeping carved vegetables and fruits before placing in the refrigerator.
Training Procedure for Vegetable and Fruit Carving
  1. Design training by drawing the design on paper to plan for the design, materials, arrangement, budget and composition of the finished work.
  2. Shaping training by making rough shape of the design.
  3. Making grooves.
  4. Carving leaves of different styles.
  5. Carving flowers with pointed petals.
  6. Carving flowers with rounded petals.

After the basic trainings are achieved, skills and speed should be developed because the speed is required in vegetable and fruit carvings due to their perishable nature.



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