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.

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...