Wood carving is direct size operation which has preserved even nowadays former practices and instrumentation, even if those improved considerably thanks to sometimes very elaborate mechanization. Indeed it remains particularly dependent on material which shape, volume, structure and density of texture condition the work of the sculptor - as that of the joiner, with which it is connected with the number of manipulations.
The constitution of wood raises many problems: the hard central heart, the duramen, is surrounded with the very sensitive sapwood, as the bark, as the attacks of the atmospheric and microbial agents as well as those of the insects. Among the hardest and wood most used: oak, ash tree, beech, charm, olive tree. Others are less, as the sweet chestnut tree, the walnut, the elm, the pear tree. Others can be considered as soft such the cedar, the larch, the cypress, the pine, the lime tree, the willow and the birch. Thus this variety enabled, along history, numerous uses or combinations between them in the same sculpture.
In the past, sculptors looked for " fine grain" wood, tightened with surface pores almost invisible, on the other hand contemporaries, do not hesitate to emphasize the raw aspect of a material which, before, could appear of insufficient quality. In every case, it is the arrangement of the fibers that conditions widely the work of the sculptor, by imposing for size a form of attack given by their direction.