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.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

A real time spoon carving movie.


I have finally, nearly, almost, come to grips with the movie settings on my trusty camera.
I thought it was about time I made a movie of a complete spoon carve.
This is not a film of close up detail but a film covering all of the motions one needs to carve an eccentric Jon Mac pocket spoon using my three trusty edge tools, Axe, knife and hook knife.
I was joined in the movie by one of my Red Robin helpers.
I do hope you find this movie useful.
All the best for now...
Enjoy.








Saturday, 31 March 2018

Chip carving.


I recently handled a little blade I bought from Nic Westermann some time ago.
I've been meaning to have a proper attempt at chip carving and now I have the right tool I'm really enjoying the process.
You'll find how to pop your blade onto your own carved handle if you click HERE

I've been carving some nice little pocket spoons recently, around five inches long, just right for lightweight campers or cycle tourists.

The first thing you need to do is carve your spoon, leaving enough space at the handle to allow for your chosen design.
With a compass describe a circle.

spooncarving.chipcarving

Take the compass point off of the spoon and place the point anywhere on your circle.
Describe a semicircle dissecting the original circle.
Then place the point on one of the new junctions of circle and semicircle and proceed until you've drawn a simple flower shape.

spooncarving.chipcarving

With your sharp knife cut into the centre line of one of the petal shapes.
The blade should be vertical.

spooncarving.chipcarving

And draw down from petal end to end.
Then you need to cut obliquely into the bottom of your original cut from petal end to end, describing an arc as you do so, and keeping the knife point within the your original vertical cut.

spooncarving.chipcarving

And repeat the other side.

spooncarving.chipcarving

You should now have a clean petal shape.

spooncarving.chipcarving

Once you've finished, add a stem using the same technique.

spooncarving.chipcarving

Here's a little video I managed to take that shows the process.
I hope it's clear enough for you to copy the technique and have some fun.
I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying this little blade and the things I'm able to do with it.



All the best for now... J







Thursday, 15 February 2018

Sharpening a spoon carving hook knife.


A very quick post showing a technique for keeping your trusty hook knife in good sharp working order.
You need two things, both shown in the video below.
The first is a flat strop, good quality leather glued to a flat board.
A dowel strop, leather glued or tied around a suitable diameter dowel.
Add to this some polishing compound or chrome cleaner applied to the leather.
In the case of chrome cleaner please let it dry before use.
That's about all.
Earlier in this blog you'll find a tutorial about how to sharpen a hook with stones, but you don't really need this.
Practice the technique shown in the video and your hook knife should cut like a laser...



Sunday, 28 January 2018

Long distance charity bike ride ( Canada-Mexico )


@Oggweatherwax

My great friend Sarah is undertaking a journey of a lifetime to raise money for 
R.C.T.N
Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland.
She's planning a cycle tour from Canada down to Mexico.
I promised Sarah that I would help by spreading the word in the hope that some of you might be able to pop a few pounds/dollars in her coffers.
As you know, I was a keen cycle racer in my youth and can only admire Sarahs tenacity.

Sarah is a keen spoon carver, I sat with her some years ago to get her on the right track and we've been friends ever since.

@Oggweatherwax

@Oggweatherwax

I'm a bike mechanic who loves carving spoons, climbing, circus skills, and of course, cycling. I also volunteer at Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland (RCTN), a charity that blows my mind with the amazing work they do and how many people they support.

@Oggweatherwax

I'm going to cycle from Canada to Mexico to raise £5000 for RCTN. That's over 3000 km in a month! I've never cycled that far before, so it's going to be a challenge. I'll be sharing my journey as I go, from bike build, training and kit selection, to what's happening as I ride. 

I need your support in two ways: 

1) Donations, anything you can give is amazing and makes a massive difference 
2) Social media shares. Please chat about what I'm doing, like and share my FB page or Instagram and twitter, the more people know what I'm doing, the more likely we will meet the target

All money raised will go direct to RCTN: don't worry, you're not paying for my trip!



@Oggweatherwax

Thursday, 25 January 2018

My first Kuksa.

Hi.
I haven't been able to write for a while, I seem to have a bit of a block trying to transfer thought into the written word. I suspect the dull winter has some influence over this.
I've had a busy year showing, demonstrating and teaching.
It's been fabulous and I'd like to thank Frances and Barrie at the Scottish Crannog and Roger at Wildernessgathering especially, for their support and faith in this old folk artist.

I've been on the tools over winter and have run a few experiments regarding stabilisation of Kuksa.
It's all working out well which has allowed me to produce more Kuksa without their associated issues.
I'm very pleased and will pass on my experience at courses during the year.

I am still limiting myself to three basic tools for my work, plus a wee 3mm gouge for making holes, so my output is slow, but steady.
Each kuksa I make can be replicated in the forest with the tools one uses for camp.

As you know, my work is available to purchase, simply contact me through my email and I'll send clear photographs of available work.
I have Kuksa ready to ship.
I have no spoons ready at the moment, everything on my spoons for sale page has a sold designation at the moment.

kuksa.kuksa-carving-jon-mac

It's a beautiful sunny morning here in the shire and I've decided to share something with you.
I'd like to show you a peep at my first piece of carving alongside my latest piece. 
I've been on this journey for approximately 10 years now and have learned during my process, and I'm still learning.
From early days I decided to limit my tooling, this was a decision based on being able to travel and produce art.
So my first piece was carved using Axe and knife only, I used my knife to slice and chisel.
This first piece taught me a lot as my wood choice was wrong. 
I chose a piece of very old hard oak.
A hook knife would have been useful, still, when you go down the 'self taught' route you can't expect to arrive at accomplished overnight.
So here it is, a first, a photograph depicting 10 years of journey without taking a lesson.

kuksa-carving.first-kuksa-latest-kuksa

The left hand kuksa was finished yesterday, it's birch with carved facial details and some gold leaf to add a twinkle to your Cognac.
The right hand kuksa is Oak with straight sides.
I'm glad I made it as it catapulted me toward the work I produce today.

kuksa-carving.bushcraft-kuksa

I'm going to leave this blog post as it is and get back to finishing off my latest work.
I'd like to thank all of you for your comments and patience over the years.
I will be at the Crannog Centre in the summer both demonstrating and teaching, I'll pop course dates and prices up when I know more. I'll also be at the Wilderness Gathering with my wonderfull wife Sarah, who will bring along her wool dyeing hokus-pokus for those who wish to know how.

loch-tay.crannog-centre

Happy New Year.
J.