Member Online Workshop Series: An Introduction to Carving

Member Online Workshop Series: An Introduction to Carving Member Online Workshop Series: An Introduction to Carving Member Online Workshop Series: An Introduction to Carving

Wednesday 28 April 2021 11:00am - 12:00pm

Booking opens at 12pm on Tuesday 13th April

Book here from Tuesday 13th April at 12pm

Kick off your journey into the craft of carving, through a fun and informative series of four workshops with the Institute of Making workshop team. We will focus on the basics of carving and whittling, and enable you to complete your very first carving projects.

After starting with softer materials like soap and fresh avocado pips, sessions will then move on to the wonder and difficulties of working with wood. Participants will learn: to safely carve; to forage for material; to visualise a design in 3D through drawings and digital programmes; to understand different type of tools, grips and cuts; and to finish a wooden piece through sanding and polishing.  

This course is for beginners and no experience or skill are necessary. 

***Note: you must commit to all four workshops. Because of the specialist materials that this masterclass requires, and the anticipated popularity of this series, we ask that you do not book this series unless you can guarantee that you will attend every session. If you fail to attend any one session we will unfortunately have to revoke your Institute of Making membership.***

  • Week 1: Soap carving - Wednesday 28th April from 11am-12pm

Starting with soap, Necole will introduce the basic of safety and the tools that we will be using before showing the basic cuts. After choosing our design, we will understand how to visualise it in 3D and give our first go at carving.

  • Week 2: Avocado pips - Wednesday 5th May from 11am-12pm

In this session Darren will show the fun world of avocado pip carving. While carving, the group will explore Japanese netsuke carvings for inspiration. 

  • Week 3: Finishing techniques & CAD - Wednesday 12th May from 11am-12pm

Our third session will start with the group's carved avocado pip show-and-tell, as we ogle each others' results from the week before. Then, George will explain how to finish your carvings and, while participants sand and polish their creations, take us on a journey into virtual carving using CAD. 

  • Week 4: Greenwood whittling - Wednesday 19th May from 11am-12pm

In our final session, Romain will teach us how to whittle with foraged greenwood. He will cover the most commonly used knife holds and cuts as you begin a simple whittling project. The session will end with a brief lesson in sharpening and a look at all of our carving creations made over the 4 weeks.

To take part in these sessions you will need:

-       A computer or tablet with a working camera and mic.
-      You will also need to email your postal address to as we will post you a few specialist materials.

The Institute of Making workshop team is made up of multi-disciplinary techicians, who between them provide a wide understanding of materials and making proccesses, including woodwork, carpentry, metalwork, CAD and digital making.


Are you at UCL but not yet an Institute of Making member?

Just register as a member of the Institute of Making in order to book this workshop, our membership is free and open to all staff and students at UCL. Once registered, you will be able to book places on our online events and activities, and you will receive email notification of upcoming events and news.


Do you have specific access requirements?

We would like to make sure that everyone can join our online events and use our website as easily as possible. Please message us if you need any particular support or assistance while using our platforms, so we can ensure those. We are also always interested in feedback to help us improve access to our activities. Contact Sara on


Image credits: photographs by the Institue of Making team

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