There is not a lot of call for carving these days, but I recently began work on two pairs of night stands, each designed to complement its respective bed. The beds, while different, both include features common to 18th century French styles. One of the beds and, thus, the night stands are made of white oak (related to European/British oak), which has a finer grain and is much harder and heavier than the more common red oak.
After gluing up the flat panels and table tops, I began work on the legs. Although different, both require the same basic steps: rough cut the shape on the band saw, turn the foot bottom on the lathe, rough shape with files and rasps, cut the upper shoulder, then shape with carving chisels. Once all the parts of these night stands are dry assembled, using mortise and tenon and dovetail joinery throughout, I will finish carving where the pieces meet, and then sand and tidy everything up before gluing is applied.
Making all 16 carved legs in oak is time intensive, taking about 5 days from start to finish, but unless mass produced with automated machinery, there is not short cut to getting what you want.