When I first started carving I used plenty of plasters so as not to stain my work red! It took a while but I worked out a way of controlling a “slip” that resulted in cutting myself.
My carving tools of choice are made for me by “bidaweebushcraft” (check him out on instagram) His blades hold an edge for a very long time and sharpen well – you can literally shave with them. The consequences of a slip with these can be dramatic to say the least.
I hold the spoon being carved, in my left hand (I am right-handed), the knife in my right hand and then push the blade with my thumb of my left hand. The right hand really acts like a pivot and does not make any forward motion in the cut. I find this very stable and safe. This photo demonstrates the technique.
The video shows the motion.
Now when I am in a position where I need to carve toward myself because of the grain direction and needing to hold the spoon in such a way that there are no other options, I still perform a two-handed carve. This time my thumb acts as a brake, both opposing the cut and steadying the cutting motion. Hopefully this next photo will clarify my description.
And here is the video of this action.
It does seem counter-intuitive to carve toward oneself but there are times when it is impossible to do anything else. My advice is to always take very light, short cuts when doing so. If you are forcing a cut then you are much more likely to slip and do damage to a finger!
Till next week, happy creative carving.