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Updated: Feb 4, 2021

Woodcarvers today, just like in the past, still use the same material, techniques, and procedures when creating their works. Due to its suitable characteristics is used walnut wood, which is prepared for treatment with drying and steaming. Handcrafting a piece of woodcarving, always running slowly, you need to work with great patience, concentration, and attention.

In the process of making traditional Ohrid woodcarving still local woodcarvers cherish the old way of working using 23 basic chisels and mallet. Chisel is a long-bladed hand tool with a beveled cutting edge and a wooden handle that is struck with a mallet. Mallet is a kind of a hammer with a large wooden head.

Traditional Ohrid woodcarving distinguishes three types: shallow, deep, and lace type.

For each type of Ohrid woodcarving, the woodcarvers follow determined rules and techniques, several centuries old.

Each type of woodcarving requires a certain amount of time for its production. For example, making a 10cm2 shallow type of woodcarving demands six hours of work, and to produce a 10cm2 deep or lace takes twelve hours.

Shortly a bit about the workflow stages in the process of making traditional Ohrid woodcarving:


Stage 1 drawing a motif on a piece of wood and cutting the contours of the drawing

Stage 2 removing unnecessary parts of the piece of wood that are not part of the further carving process

Stage 3 rough processing and shaping of the pre-drawn motif

Stage 4 smoothing of the wood and cutting the contours of the drawing

Stage 5 cleaning after the cut

Stage 6 making the motifs three dimensional (if it is a deep type of woodcarving) or removing the background (if it is a lace type)

Stage 7 working on the final details

Stage 8 making tiny holes in the background of the piece

And the last,

Stage 9 coating the piece of wood with walnut color that will protect it from external impact, insects, woodworms, etc.

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