The Art of Face Carving: The Secret Olive Wood Statues Come to Life

November 02, 2019

The Art of Face Carving: The Secret Olive Wood Statues Come to Life




Whether our artisans are planning on carving large faces or giving more definition to small figures, details for Bethlehem Handicrafts is essential. Raw wood, and especially olive wood, needs to be smoothed out before and after any work can be carried out - and in particular the definition of faces. The olive wood that is used for carving is not watered, but is dried for up to tens of years before it’s ready to be carved. The drying process drastically affects the outcome, giving the statue a nice grain and the right texture.

Hand Carved Wood Bust of Jesus Head

Then we use a variety of wood carving tools, including chisels, V-tools, and knives to add details and volume to the statues. Once the statue’s basic face shape is carved, the fine details are added by our specialized artisans, including but not limited to the eye shape, the moustache, the hair strands, and wrinkles to give the face additional depth and a human-like look. Afterwards, it is smoothed again and sanded to a polished finish since the olive wood holds scratches.

Our work is very distinctive and can be easily distinguished by our customers worldwide for its clear-cut humane faces. Unlike other olive wood stores, Bethlehem Handicrafts have a set team of artisans who are specialized in face carving our statues. This important difference comes across and is very noticeable in all of our statues whether large or small. This difference is what separates the Bethlehem Handicrafts statues from others in the olive wood industry in the holy land. At Bethlehem Handicrafts we put quality over quantity.

Jesus Face

Notice the difference in the statues between the two statues in the above picture.

This skill of face carving has been improved upon and passed down from father to son for many generations in our family. In Bethlehem Handicrafts, we believe that learning these techniques for making detailed work is important.

Watch our artisans hand carving this olive wood bust of Jesus head statue at our workshop in Bethlehem: 



This statues of Jesus' head is made from Bethlehem's olive wood depicts the painful look of Christ which peers through the heart of the collector as his passionate blood drips from his face in this detailed carving mounted on olive-wood bark. Keep this great wood statue made in the Holy Land at home, work and school to remind our kids, family and friends that Jesus Christ's love is the greatest of all.


We, the Bethlehem Handicrafts’ team, are so proud to put the Holy Land in your hand by giving you a variety of the best and the most outstanding original Bethlehem’s olive wood carvings with the best quality made in the Holy Land.

Made by Christian Hands. Loved by Christian Hearts.

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