Carving is another of the ancient crafts that was developed to high art in Renaissance Europe. Related to sculpture, it is an art practiced with simple hand tools but requiring much skill and practice to be properly performed. It is a skill required when performing restoration of missing pieces on carved mirrors or chair frames.
In France, the art is still taught at the Ecole Boulle. They have hundreds of plaster casts of traditional carvings which the students copy religiously. Later, when creating their own carvings from drawings, they first make clay models, then cast those in plaster, and carve from the casting.
See Vineyard Bay Doors.