Spoon carving from a Bushcraft perspective with Jon Mac...
I am a spoon carver who lives and works on Dartmoor in Devon.
I carve spoons and Kuksa from green wood, using the three principal bushcraft tools. The knife, Axe and hook knife. I find spoon carving gives me a greater understanding of these tools as I can demonstrate a precision of craft in the finished spoon. I have developed my own spoon carving knife 'The MaChris' which is made by 'Chris Grant' a fantastically talented bladesmith.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Spoon carving visitors...


I have recently had a spate of visitors here at my home.
Some visitors came to learn the odd bit about carving, others came because they just like it here.
My great friend Tas (Driving) has recently returned home from a spot of serious mountaineering
 down New-Zealand way.
Sarah and I are so happy she had a great time and she is home safe and sound.

spoon carving first steps

Mr Blackbird.
He has set up home next to our kitchen window and has given me some spring time inspiration.

spoon carving first steps


kuksa bushcraft spoon carving first steps

One of our visitors we have not seen for a while is Brock.
Grown a bit since the last visit.

spoon carving first steps

And Sarah spent three quarters of an hour watching our local hunter go about its' business.

sparrow hawk bushcraft

Our colony of house and hedge sparrows go very quiet when the Sparrow Hawk puts in an appearance.

sparrow hawk bushcraft

Our good friend Matt stayed with us for a few days.
He is an expert Chiropterologist.
He stayed with us for two seasons a few years ago whilst he was undertaking his field study work with the University of Bristol.
I helped him out with his work, which we mainly carried out at night, up in the higher forests of Dartmoor.
We like to call him Matt the Bat.
We spent a couple of quiet days carving and he made his first Kuksa.
A couple of years ago I taught him the rudiments of spoon carving.
Here is a photo of his first spoon.

spoon carving spoon carving first steps

At the time he carved this spoon Matt was setting light traps up in the bottom field so he could ascertain the species of moth likely to be on the bat menu.
Matt could then collect bat droppings from his capture and release program, and use DNA sequencing techniques back at the Bat Lab to detect what the local bats ate.

spoon carving spoon carving first steps


moth


spoon carving spoon carving first steps


spoon carving spoon carving first steps

Here's Matt using an adze for the first time hollowing out the bowl of the Kuksa.

kuksa bushcraft spoon carving first steps

He didn't manage to completely finish the Kuksa, but the main work is done.
The bowl side walls are nice and thin and even.

kuksa bushcraft spoon carving first steps

Matt took it home and can carve the head at his leisure.
He's a clever and talented chap who finds carving a peaceful and relaxing pastime.

kuksa bushcraft spoon carving first steps

In-between sunbathing and hunting worms, Dolly has been helping me with a spoon design.

Dolly the chicken

I spent the winter re-learning some carving techniques and made many spoons.
I have a 'Two Day Test' whereby I will revisit a carving after two days and critique it.
My Kuksa I like.
I love to carve them.
And I think they look good.
My spoons however seem to me to be lacking that little spark.
I came up with this design which passes my test.

spoon carving bushcraft knife spoon carving first steps

A little Celtic....

spoon carving knife spoon carving first steps

A little Nordic...

spoon carving spoon carving first steps


spoon carving spoon carving first steps

And good fun to make.

spoon carving spoon carving first steps

To celebrate I opened one of the bottles of scrumpy the students from Embercombe had traded for tuition.

kuksa scrumpy cider spoon carving first steps

Splendid.... !

kuksa scrumpy cider spoon carving first steps

Cheers !

kuksa scrumpy cider

Think I'm going to have to hide the other bottle from Sarah though...


Well... Hopefully the sun will return and we can get back to carving and worm hunting under the Magnolia...

spoon carving first steps

Enjoy...
J;-)