Spoon carving.

Spoon carving with Jon Mac.
A blog following my journey into the world of bushcraft, spoon carving and kuksa carving.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Char cloth production.

The summer is coming along nicely here in the Shire, hot days and warm evenings have bought the BBQ out in us. Home made burgers and salad is a favourite of ours at this time of year.
When I use a BBQ, I enjoy the challenge of lighting it naturally, I usually use a flint and steel with some char-cloth and fine Birch bark to set light to some kindling that will then be covered with charcoal. I had a pair of white linen loons that I like'd to wear when the temperatures rose, unfortunately they have given up the ghost. I thought, as I'm running short of char-cloth I'd put them to good use. The material is purely natural, no man made fibres included, this is important. I have often used Denim successfully too.


I tear the cloth into strips and carefully roll the material, tightly to a size that will easily fit inside my trusty, rusty tin. I don't make the roll to big as I have to carefully remove the char-cloth once it's burned and cooled.


The tin has a lid with a good seal, it also has a tiny hole in it to let exhaust gasses escape during the burn. You can see the hole size in pictures further down the page. It also has a wooden plug that I can pop into the hole to seal it at the end of the burn.


I lit a fire, with flint and steel, and popped the can carefully on top.
For a short while nothing happens, then a flame or smoke will start issuing from the hole in the lid making a whooshing sound as it does so.


After some minutes the fierce flame will stop and white smoke will take it's place. The process is almost over.


Once the smoke has stopped, remove the can and place it on a fireproof surface. Quickly plug the hole. The can is hot so use tongues or a pair of sticks.


With it's stick plug sealing the hole, leave the can for a few hours to cool down.
The can has a roll of hot char-cloth within and if you are too quick to open the lid, air will get in and the whole roll could start smouldering. Char-cloth smoulders at a very high temperature, so be careful. Don't bring it into the house or tipi just yet.


Once everything has cooled and there is no longer a risk of ignition, pop the lid of and have a look to see if the burn was successful. In this case it was....


You can now remove the char-cloth and roll it into convenient sized pieces to fit into your fire starting tin.


I use a small tobacco tin, inside of which I keep flint and steel, char-cloth, Birch bark, fat lighter, a ferrocerium rod and a couple of pieces of cramp ball. This is usually all I need to turn a spark into a flame.


Hold the char-cloth close to the edge of the flint and strike with the steel until a spark catches and starts smouldering. This might happen on the first strike or the thirty first.


Once the spark has taken I introduce the smouldering cloth to some fine Birch bark. Once the Birch bark has caught I can light my kindling and then my charcoal. I'm going to have to stop now as I have to make some burgers and get the fire lit.


I have made provision for a couple of spoon carving courses here in Devon over the next couple of weekends. You can find information further down the page. 
It'd be lovely to see you... J


I've just added a new date to the courses I will be running before the summer holidays here in Devon.
I'm running a course for those that are further along their spoon carving journey.
I will teach some techniques to allow your next step in your spooncarving process.

The new date is 21st July.

Details and ticket sales can be found....


See you soon... J

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Spoon carving course.

I have posted a date for a spoon carving course here in Devon.

Join Jon Mac for an introduction to wooden spoon carving. Jon is a well respected spoon and Kuksa carver, who will take you through the use of three main tools used for hand carving wooden spoons from green wood. He will introduce you to the carving Axe, straight knife and hook knife, and show you safe useage to accomplish a carved spoon of your own. This is a one day course offered for the inexperienced, aspiring green wood spoon carver. All tools and wood needed for this course are supplied.
Follow this link for details and payment options...


See you soon... J

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Spoon-carving with Jon Mac.

Hi hi.
It's been quite a busy few weeks here in the Shire.
I've been running carving courses and completing orders for Dragon Kuksa.
These latest two were bought by an American collector.
Apparently he'll be sipping fine Scotch from them once they arrive.
Fingers crossed Dragons like Scotch, I'm sure they will.
As you know, I carve my Dragon Kuksa using the same technique I've been using for years.
Hand carved using Axe, knife and hook.
No electric tools or abrasives.
Pure pie power.
You can find pictorial tutorials earlier on in this blog that may well help you on your way to carving your own. Or contact me if you would like to sit with me for a weekend of tutorial and hands on carving.

Dragon Kuksa.

I have, in between times, been carving spoons.
I have a basket of spoons ready for sale which I have photographed here, and a basket of spoons that need some decoration and oiling before they are ready.
The spoons shown here are hand carved by me using Axe, knife and hook.
These spoons are available for £35.00 inc post and pack, including the USA and Europe.
Simply email me with the Set number and number of spoon from left to right or screen shot the spoon you'd like to buy.

Set 1

Set 2

Set 3

Set 4

Set 5

Set 6

Set 7

Set 8

Set 9

I've also spent some time writing and article for the folk at Fox Chapel Publishing.
They contacted me a few months ago and asked if I could write a tutorial on spoon carving without a hook knife. I've written on this subject before here on SpoonCarvingFirstSteps, it can be accomplished by using a friction firelighting rig as written about HERE or by using a straight knife as touched on HERE.
I still haven't written the complete 'How to' on using a straight knife only for  SCFS and it looks like you'll have to wait a while longer, or buy the magazine for now.



That's pretty well all for the moment.
I'm working on another two Kuksa, one is for a customer, again over in the States, and I'm hoping it'll be finished soon. 
I must mention that whilst walking the hills of Dartmoor the other weekend, I came across a bit of ground that caught my geologists eye. On closer inspection, and after contacting a local historian, it looks like I may have found a forgotten WWII aircraft crash site. 
I'm awaiting news with baited breath.
All the best for now... J