Carver - carving

DEFINITION

Sculpture terms for a person (carver) or process (carving), it involved incising a hard material such as wood, varieties of stones, and metal into a form and the resulting shape. Among fine-art specialists, the finished piece is usually referred to as sculpture rather than carving unless it is by a naive or amateur artist. However, some contemporary sculptors are referring to themselves as Carvers. Cutting tools used by Carvers include hammers, mallets, chisels, knives, points and adzes. During the Italian Renaissance, Michelangelo did his own marble carving, usually working alone from a sketch of one-tenth size. Sculptors working with marble such as the neo-classical American sculptors in Italy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries had studio assistants who, working from the design of the sculptor, did most of the actual stonework or carving. In America, some of the earliest wood carvers were church decorators such as early 19th century Jose Aragon of New Mexico and Norwegian-American Herbjorn Gausta. William Rush who lived in Pennsylvania in the late 18th and early 19th centuries was noted for his carved wood figureheads for ships. Among folk artists is a strong tradition of direct carving such as Henry Church who did rock carving, and Sulton Rogers of Mississippi, who did fanciful and sometimes erotic woodcarvings. Twentieth-century fine-art sculptors whose names are associated with stone, wood, and metal carving include Gaston Lachaise, who worked with marble and alabaster as well as bronze; Nicolai Fechin, who carved primitive-looking wood figures; and Louise Nevelson, whose signature work is carved wood assemblages. Likely the most famous name in American art linked to carving is Gutzom Borglum, who designed and oversaw the creation of the Presidents carved from the rock at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Sometimes referenced as ???sculpture with dynamite??? (Samuels 58), it remains one of the most massive carvings in this country. Comparable in size, however, might be the work of sculptors known for Earthworks, carvings into the earth to alter natural environment such as the efforts of Michael Heizer or Robert Smithson. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Greta Elena Couper, ???An American Sculptor on the Grand Tour???; Masayo Duus, "The Life of Isamu Noguchi"; Harold and Peggy Samuels, ???The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West???; AskART database

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