Spoon carving.

Spoon carving with Jon Mac.
A blog following my journey in the world of bushcraft, spoon carving and kuksa carving. Home of the JonMac MiniMac carving knife.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Seasons Greetings...


spoon+carving+devon

Seasons greetings to all our friends in blogland.
I would like to take this opportunity in the quiet time just before the new year starts, to say a big thank you to all  who have read this blog and given support over the year.
We have been a little quiet with our posts recently, mainly due to the cold weather we are experiencing and the large dump of snow we had last week...

spoon+carving+devon

Sarah and I have been snowed in for a couple of days here and there recently, due to ice and snow. We have had to make a few walking trips into the nearest town to re supply with victuals. We live on a long ridge here in Devon, and all other civilization is down long, and in this weather, treacherous hills, treacherous in our little car anyway...

spoon+carving+devon

So Sarah and I have had to rely on shanks's pony...

spoon+carving+devon

The 4x4 and tractor is king in this type of weather...

spoon+carving+devon

None of this stopped us making our annual trip to Bottor Rock Farm though...

spoon+carving+devon

Where Sarah and I bought our tree...

spoon+carving+devon

It is now nice and snug and covered in decorations in our lounge...

spoon+carving+devon

Dolly the Chicken has moved into the kitchen, and is now sleeping by the range, so I have taken the opportunity to make a lighthearted study of her...

spoon+carving+devon

I used the final piece of Birch bur that Chris Grant helped me remove from a tree in Scotland when I visited last Autumn...

spoon+carving+devon
Carving this bought back good memories...

spoon+carving+devon

The hovel seems to be holding up well...

spoon+carving+devon

String making time is still a long way away though...


The snow should be gone soon and I am looking forward to some of my friends coming up to stay.
Hopefully I will finally be able to write a long promised piece with my friend Keith from the local Mountain Rescue Team, and I will be nipping into the woods with a new hammock soon, lots of nice photos and a few knotty tips...

Until then have a 'Cool Yule' and a Happy New Year...
ENJOY...














Monday, 13 December 2010

A quiet Sunday...

It's been cold and icy here in the South West lately.
So far we haven't had the severe weather that other parts of the country are experiencing.
Sarah and I have been enjoying the frost, we have spent some free time walking the local forests.

Jon Mac spoon carving 

Wrapped up warm of course...

Jon Mac spoon carving

The views from the village have been stunning...

Jon Mac spoon carving

Sarah's Mum is a block printer. She carves beautiful pictures onto wood or Linoleum and prints the resultant image off...

Jon Mac spoon carving

Here are two pieces of her work...

Jon Mac spoon carving

During the year the print co-operative she works with puts on shows, and they had one last Sunday.
Sarah and I popped over to Dartington to have a look round. 

Jon Mac spoon carving

We go every year and we really enjoy all the splendid Art on show. I also enjoy looking at all the old presses they use...

Jon Mac spoon carving

There are all manor of devices to see...

Jon Mac spoon carving

All of the prints are arranged on string lines across the workshop...

Jon Mac spoon carving


Jon Mac spoon carving


Jon Mac spoon carving


Jon Mac spoon carving

Afterwards Sarah and I decided to go for a wander along the river Dart...

Jon Mac spoon carving

I haven't been along this part of the river for many years and the walk bought back some good memories. I  remember one year when the river froze right across, that was a cold winter, well for Devon anyway...

Jon Mac spoon carving

On the way home we came across a group of travelers camped up near Riverford farm.

Jon Mac spoon carving

We had a good look at the carvings on show. We spent some time talking with one of the chaps and he explained that the group tour around the South West of England, picking up lumber as they go, and carving it into these wonderful 'curiosities'. Selling them at the roadside or through there web site...

Jon Mac spoon carving

They travel with a small caravan and an old Bedford lorry...

Jon Mac spoon carving

Some good honest work...

Jon Mac spoon carving


Jon Mac spoon carving

Well were back home now having enjoyed a busy Sunday. 
Once I got the fire lit  I gave an old friend of mine a call, we got chatting about the Search and Rescue team that he is still involved with. And I asked if he would pop over with some of the equipment he carries with him on 'Call Outs', with a bit of luck we will get together this coming weekend, and set to with a new blog. Should be interesting...
In the mean time...

ENJOY...






Sunday, 28 November 2010

Jon's pockets...

I recently had a Birthday.
Sarah and I managed to stretch the festivities over quite a few days, she enjoys other peoples Birthdays as much as her own. For a treat she took me up to Exeter to see my old friend Kevin Endicott. He is the proud owner of a fine emporium selling all sorts of things for the great outdoors. He was very pleased to see us and immediately set to with the kettle for a round of Tea. I have, over the years, bought all sorts of equipment from Kevin, and his father before him. This visit was to prove no different, as during our catch up chat he filled my hands with a rather splendid jacket.
When we got home Sarah immediately confiscated the jacket for wrapping...Ho Hum...
Well eventually the big day arrived and I have been able to take my new coat for a good few walks.

bushcraft

I have owned quite a few raincoats over the years, but none made so well as this one. It's made by a company called Arktis.
It's a breathable jacket, waterproof and has a multitude of pockets.

bushcraft

And the price is right...

bushcraft

Four lower pockets...
Two in the usual place at the front and a further two set behind them...

bushcraft

Chest pockets outer and inner...

We took these pictures when we went for a walk around the local forest. The weather was freezing, and my beard would freeze and thaw as we went along...

bushcraft

Sarah all wrapped up...

bushcraft

And here's the reason why...

bushcraft

A very deep frost...

bushcraft

Extruded ice...

bushcraft

Whilst we were walking through the forest we thought it would be interesting to show the things I might pop in my pockets when out and about...

bushcraft

I had with me a Platypus drinks bladder. A waterproof bag full of dried fruit and some home made cake, thanks to Sarah. I always carry a large wound dressing and a Shemagh. I can use the Shemagh as a warm hat, bandage, sling, fibre in which to introduce a spark for fire lighting and any other use you can think of.
I also carry a knife and a pyrophoric flint.
The knife shown here is a MaChris Bushcrafter.
A full tang knife designed for all your Bushcraft needs...
This particular knife is a prototype made from CS80. I have been giving it a thorough testing for some months now. Everything from cook prep,  batoning  for fire wood and carving...
I even gave it to a master butcher for a good coat of going over...

bushcraft knife

bushcraf knife

And it's Splendid...

Our walk today took us round an area well defined, with good tracks and known to both of us. If I were to photograph my pockets on a walk on the Moor, then you would find all sorts of extras, including map, compass, whistle and torch.
Perhaps soon I will show a kit more suited to rugged terrain...

jon mac spoon carver

ENJOY...







Monday, 15 November 2010

Kuksa carving with Sean...

Here are two short films of me making a Kuksa with sean mulhall.....

spoon carving

These links will take you to Sean's You Tube channel...





ENJOY....

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Sean's Silver Fox Bushcraft.

This weekend was spent in the company of my friend Sean Mulhall.
He came to visit us at home in Devon, and bought along  his video equipment to make a short film of me making a Kuksa. Of course, he would need the help of Polly and her friends.

spoon carving

Sean is a well known bushcrafter. He  spends a lot of time studying the techniques involved in all aspects of the art.

spoon carving

And he also has a great eye for design. I asked him to bring along his famous S.F.Knife. He designed this knife along with Chris Grant as a work tool that he can use in the forest for felling, splitting, skinning and all manner of other uses. I saw this knife when a group of us went to Scotland recently, but I didn't have time to use it, so I was hoping I could have a good old play with it when he came to visit. Here is a schematic of some the holds available to you with this knife. 


After a quick sharpen on the Japanese water stone, I sat down next to my carving block and started to rough out a spoon blank, chatting with Sean as we both happily carved. I found the balance point straight away and with a nice lazy chopping action set too with stop cuts to reveal the bowl position. Amazing......Although I am more used to roughing out with various Axes, this knife was an absolute pleasure to use, beautifully accurate and when it came to the finer work, it was nimble in the hand. The blank I cut was quite fine and I recon if I had a little more time I could have made a very passable spoon....

I didn't manage to find time to test its chopping pedigree, but I have seen Sean cut through quite large pieces of timber for the fire when we camped out a month or so ago, and I can vouch for it's firewood making properties. Here's Sean starting his spoon blank....

I was so involved with talking to Sean about his S.F.K. and carving, that I only took a few photographs. Once Sean has finished editing the film he shot, I will post a link to this blog...

Although Princess.P.P was asleep for most of the afternoon, I'm pretty sure she took most of it in...

spoon carving

Sean bought along with him a van load of Birch and a Cherry burr...

spoon carving

I will have to have a look at it during the week...

I think Sean will visit again soon, and when he does, I will make sure I have the camera clicking away
'pell- mell'.....


ENJOY...