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Chip carving

Chip carving or chip-
carving, kerbschnitt in
German, is a style of
carving in which knives
or chisels are used to
remove small chips of
the material from a flat
surface in a single piece.
The style became
important in Migration
Period metalwork,
mainly Animal style
jewellery, where the
faceted surfaces
created caught the light
to give a glinting
appearance. This was
very probably a transfer
to metalworking of a
technique already used
in woodcarving, but no
wooden examples have
survived. Famous Anglo-
Saxon examples include
the jewellery from
Sutton Hoo and the
Tassilo Chalice, though
the style originated in
mainland Europe. In later
British and Irish
metalwork, the same
style was imitated
using casting, which is
often called imitation
chip-carving, or
sometimes just chip
carving (authors are not
always careful to
distinguish the two), a
term also sometimes
applied to pottery
decorated in a similar
way.
Woodwork
In modern wood
carving, the style is also
called spoon carving.
The style is traditional
in the folk art of many
countries. Patterns can
be free form style or
based on geometric
figures. In America it is
mostly used with
basswood, butternut,
pine, or mahogany. Chip
carving knives can also
be used for whittling,
cabinet making, and
general workbench
purposes.


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