Spoon carving.

Spoon carving with Jon Mac.
Carve spoons from green wood with your bushcraft edge tools. The knife, Axe and hook knife.
Home of the MaChris MiniMac spoon carving knife.


Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Kuksa carving tutorial. Ale hen.

Ale Hens...

 spooncarvingfirststeps+jonmac+kuksa+alehen+spoon+carving spoon carving first steps

A pictorial tutorial...

spoon carving first steps

A short while ago I ran a couple of spoon and Kuksa making courses up here in Hennock. I explained and demonstrated techniques for sharpening Axe, knife and the dreaded hook knife. And showed them how to hold and properly use a MaChris carving knife. My students took it all in their stride and,at days end, and after some good hard work , they managed to get most of the Axe and exterior knife work completed. They spent the next couple of days hollowing out and knife finishing the work, they live near-by and were able to pop in for further tuition as they progressed. Whilst watching and helping my students, it occurred to me that my Kuksa design I have worked with for many years may be a little tricky to the novice carver...

spooncarvingfirststeps+jonmac+kuksa+alehen+spoon+carving spoon carving first steps

The beaver tail, cutting across the grain, is both hard and delicate work...

spooncarvingfirststeps+jonmac+kuksa+alehen+spoon+carving spoon carving first steps

I had a good think about the problems my students  encountered and decided to try out a different design. I cannot lay claim to this design as it originates from the cold north, an ancient design from Norway.

spooncarvingfirststeps+jonmac+kuksa+alehen+spoon+carving spoon carving first steps

A split billet...

spooncarvingfirststeps+jonmac+kuksa+alehen+spoon+carving spoon carving first steps

I made Hens both with a billet in the whole and a billet cleaved in twain. The whole billet tended, as I imagined, to split at the heart. A little bees wax mixed with Tung oil sealed the cracks and my friends have drunk long and hard from them without any mishap. I would therefore  recommend using a split billet as the chances of splitting are much reduced...

With your Axe remove the corners of the billet...

spooncarvingfirststeps+jonmac+kuksa+alehen+spoon+carving spoon carving first steps

This in effect makes the head and neck of the hen...

spooncarvingfirststeps+jonmac+kuksa+alehen+spoon+carving spoon carving first steps

Cut the underside to form the neck, and chop the bowl so as to sit a little lower than the head...

spooncarvingfirststeps+jonmac+kuksa+alehen+spoon+carving spoon carving first steps

And form the front of the bowl shape...

spoon carving first steps

Chop the unwanted section of the handle/head until you have a rough bird like silhouette...

spooncarvingfirststeps+jonmac+kuksa+alehen+spoon+carving spoon carving first steps

Once the Axe work is complete, set to hollowing out the bowl. The quicker this is done the better, as it will reduce the chances of the bowl splitting...

Cut across the grain to start...

spooncarvingfirststeps+jonmac+kuksa+alehen+spoon+carving spoon carving first steps

Once hollowed it is time to get the knife out and refine the shape...

spoon carving first steps

And carving the head...

spooncarvingfirststeps+jonmac+kuksa+alehen+spoon+carving spoon carving first steps

I have gone for a simple shape that represents the spirit of a Hen Goose...

spoon carving first steps

Almost there...

spooncarvingfirststeps+jonmac+kuksa+alehen+spoon+carving spoon carving first steps

Add some chip carved eyes ...


And singe her beak with a flame...

spoon carving first steps

A little decoration here ...

spooncarvingfirststeps+jonmac+kuksa+alehen+spoon+carving spoon carving first steps

and there ...

spoon carving first steps

and the Hen comes alive....

spooncarvingfirststeps+jonmac+kuksa+alehen+spoon+carving spoon carving first steps

I found this Kuksa shape a lot easier to carve than my usual beaver tail, and quicker to...

spooncarvingfirststeps+jonmac+kuksa+alehen+spoon+carving spoon carving first steps

I hope you enjoy making yours...

spooncarvingfirststeps+jonmac+kuksa+alehen+spoon+carving spoon carving first steps


ENJOY...










13 comments:

  1. Amazing work as always Jon! I love the design, sort of a more whimsical approach to the kuksa, but still very nice to look at. Thanks for posting these pictures.

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  2. Wonderful and hugely inspirational as always, Jon! Love the knife finish on them.

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  3. I've always wondered at the reason for the beavertail anyway. It seems like it would be fragile in use.

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  4. Awesome! I'll definetly give this a try.

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  5. When you cup one of my Beaver tail Kuksa in your hand, you soon realise why the shape is so important. I and many others have drunk from my design for many years, I have yet to see a broken Kuksa returned to me. It is a good ergonomic, female shape, but difficult to make. The Hen is easier to make, as the chopping out is mainly with the grain...J

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  6. My pleasure Tom. I cant wait to see one that you have made...J

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  7. Thanks Greame. I think your shallow Voyager cups are great...J

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  8. Thank you for sharing Jon, tempted to have a go at this design.
    Regards,
    John

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  9. Thanks for your comment, firststeps. The goose pattern appeals more to my rustic taste, but I can see how it might be a bit more difficult to hold. Of course, I've never even seen a kuksa in use, so it's all conjecture on my part.

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  10. They do have a very folk/rustic look about them, very nice!!

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  11. Fine work again, sir. Now post some pics of a happy soul drinking some brown ale whilst licking some froth from their lips, or a red ale.

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  12. I love your work and the beauty of the beaver tail, but I am captured by the hen/goose shape. Thanks for this post. Do you sell knives as well as your carvings?

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    1. I'm glad you enjoy my work Dave. I have designed the MaChris line of knives, the MaChris bushcraft, the MiniMaC and the MaChris No 1. All are made by Chris Grant, a super bladesmith. You'll find some specification info here on the blog. All of my knives are made with 52100 steel unless you want a custom knife. Drop me a line if you need any help...Cheers for now...J

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