The process for relief carving is usually as follows. The carver first fixes the wood to his workbench by means of a carvers screw or clamp. The carver then sketches on the main lines of his idea, indicating the flowers, foliage, or other subject. If the design be very intricate or of a geometrical character, he may trace the design from a pattern first prepared on paper.
The carver grounds out the spaces between the lines with a gouge to a more or less uniform depth. Then he hosts the upstanding pattern that remains, i.e. he models and shapes the details of his design, carefully balancing the lights and shadows; and finally, after having obtained the result he desires, he cleans up all of the cuts. The quicker he works, the fewer times he goes over the same part, the more sketchy the subsidiary portions, the less high finish he puts into the detail, the better the result. Incised work, chip carving, are generally finished at once and not in stages.