Search in Videos, Members, Events, Audio Files, Photos and Blogs Search

City and Guilds|United Kingdom

My Blog


What are stone carving, gilding and wood carving?

Nov 15, 2017

     (0 Rating)

Stone carving, gilding, and wood carving are three of the best options for expressing human creativity. These skills are developed through the years so only those artisans who have developed their skills are capable of accomplishing the task.

Stone carving

Stone carvings are the earliest known works representing art. The art of giving shapes to rough and natural stone pieces is known as a stone carving. Due to the permanent nature of stones work, it has survived through the ages. Stone carvings during the prehistoric period are the result of using hard stones to scratch a softer stone. The introduction of the iron led to the making of stone carving tools, like steel chisels, drills, and saws that were solid and able to cut through stone without destroying their shapes.

1. Most common stones used are Igneous Rock, Sedimentary Rock, and Metamorphic Rock.

2. Some of the famous stone sculptures are Christ and Mary Magdalene by Auguste Rodin; The Kiss by Constantin Brancusi; Ptolemy by Jean Arp; Recumbent Figure by Henry Moore; and Nesting Stones by Barbara Hepworth.


Is the application of gold sheets (or other metals) that is beaten to thinness to the surface of an object using an adhesive (size)?  This can be done in both parcel-gilt and whole gilt.

1. Three main disciplines are Oil Gilding, Water Gilding, and Verre Eglomise or Glass gilding. 

Oil gilding is the quicker, easiest and cheaper method compared with water gilding and can be used on almost any surface. It requires less skill and satisfactory results can be produced.

Water Gilding is the best method but much more labor intensive and requires many hours of preparation, application of many layers of gesso and bole, etc. If the work is skillfully done, the result is the most brilliant shine and purest form of gilding.

Verre eglomise or glass gilding – In this method, gold is placed on the reverse side of the glass. The result is a product of reflective beauty to be fully admired.

2. Another art form is metal gilding where a solid surface is covered with a thin gold leaf or another metal alloy. The solid surface may be that of ceramic, metal, stone or wood. The object is given the look of gold, silver, or platinum.


It is the art of creating ornamenting objects of wood by using a sharp handheld implement to shape the wood. Wood carving has probably been around about as long as man has been upon the earth. Over the centuries wood carving has changed but has always survived.

1. Best wood for sculpture

Best wood for sculpture is butternut or cherry wood, mahogany, natural wood finish or walnut, a rich color having attractive grain pattern. Butternut is very soft and the easiest to carve. Cherry, mahogany, and walnut are rich in color but very hard to carve.

2. Famous wood carvings are Human wooden sculptures by Aron Demetz; Spaghetti Bench by Pablo Reinoso; One-to-One by Caroline Slotte; Human Sculptures by Bruno Walpoth; and Match Stick Men by Wolfgang Stiller.

Where to take courses in stone carving, gilding, and wood carving?

UK’s City & Guilds of London Art School offers the only Diplomas and Postgraduate Diplomas in Stone Carving, Gilding, and Woodcarving. Since 1879, this institution has been teaching these courses as it plays a vital role in keeping alive the skills to preserve the world’s most important monuments and buildings.