Carpentry across the world: an insight to technique


Carpentry is one of the oldest construction techniques across every society, and has evolved to incorporate new materials, methods and applications.

Now an umbrella term for a number of techniques and processes, carpentry today involves a range of building materials, rather than just wood.

So whether you’re considering studying our CPC30220 Certificate III in Carpentry, are pursuing a woodworking career, or are looking to specialise your skillset, it’s worthwhile seeing just where a trade can take you.

Woodworking, joinery and carpentry remain highly specialised crafts, and their timber products are in high demand for on-trend and prestige homes. While the basics of many types of carpentry can be taught in a Certificate III in Carpentry, they take a lifetime to perfect, making this field a passion for many craftspeople.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the traditional woodworking techniques and carpentry methods from around the world, and how they have made their way into modern homes.

French Parquetry

This high-end technique is primarily found in flooring, though can be used in ceilings and any number of timber furniture pieces. Comprising small blocks of wood, these are arranged precisely in a mosaic or pattern for a stunning effect. The pattern itself varies, though common parquetry designs are the angular styles of herringbone and chevron.

Parquetry is an exercise in precision. Exact joints and tight margins are essential in order to achieve the clean geometric lines that feature in the end result. Today, this technique is carried out by specialised joiners.

The word originates from the Old French ‘parchet’, meaning a small or enclosed space, and the technique can be seen in some of the most famous examples of French architecture throughout history, including Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles.

A Certificate III in Carpentry in Australia is usually geared towards building and construction, however the qualification offers the perfect training ground for developing practical skills as an apprentice. Once learned, you can use these to specialise in other fields in the future.

Sampo-Zashi Joinery

This Japanese joinery technique brings together four pieces of timber in an elegant, nail-free design, and is often reserved for the most experienced joiners and carpenters. It combines the strength of the interlocking dovetail joint, with the intricacy and precision of the puzzle-like mortise and tenon joint.

It is thought that the preference for timber-only construction in Japan may be due to wood’s natural ability to absorb shock. This means structures can withstand earthquakes and high winds more easily than other other materials.

By starting your Certificate III in Carpentry online, you’ll not only get exposure to building and construction onsite, but be able to practice techniques like this regularly at home.

Photo courtesy of Architizer

Dongyang Wood Carving

During the Ming and Qing dynasties, ornate wood carving in China reached its peak, and you can still see today how much of an influence this craft has.

There are three major woodcarving cities in China, one of which is Dongyang, Zhejiang Province. This city’s woodcarvings are known for their unique style, featuring deep dimension, rich compositions, and depictions of horses, lotus flowers and people.

If this style of woodcarving interests you, then why not combine it with the skills learned in a Certificate III in Carpentry online to craft Chinese-inspired cabinetry or feature furniture pieces?

Danish Furniture Design

Although a little further from the building and construction industry, transferable carpentry skills can lead you into furniture design. Here, your Certificate III in Carpentry, wherever you are in Australia, is a great place to start.

Danish furniture thrived in the middle of the twentieth century, from the 1940s and through to the 1960s. Revolutionised by designer Kaare Klint’s early interpretation of clean, modern lines, the  Bauhaus movement he represented is still alive today.

Importantly, this era was punctuated by an appreciation of both form and function, a stark contrast to mainstream design which largely neglected the aesthetic element.

Typically, Danish modern furniture uses rich materials, like natural teak hardwood and buttery leathers, helping to ensure an extremely high quality and longevity of the individual pieces.

Today, furniture remains Denmark’s fifth most important export and goes to show the impact well-trained carpenters and joiners can have on the world.

In an industry so fixated on keeping ahead of emerging technologies and improving efficiencies,  it can be easy to lose sight of the joy and value of hand-crafted pieces. Although prefabrication, robotics and automation have their place in industry, handcrafted wood furniture demands premium prices and a sense of care that is unmatched.

A career in building and construction, and an education that starts with a Certificate III in Carpentry, can pave the way for any number of careers that highlight the craft of woodworking, joinery and carpentry.

Get started today by studying a Certificate III in Carpentry right here in Australia, or apply for a Certificate III in Carpentry online to get started when it suits you.