Tuesday 5 October 2010

Burch burr hunting in Scotland

I have just returned from a trip to Scotland...
I met up with some of my carving and smithing friends and spent a week in the foothills of the Cairngorms.

We had a great time practising our bushcraft, but to be honest we spent a great deal of time sitting, carving and chatting...

John Arthur, Silver fox, Chris Grant
John Arthur, Sean Mulhall and Chris Grant.
We did a little Birch burr hunting and came up with a few good examples...

jon mac+kuksa

Being a chap who usually spends time in mountains or moorland, I usually sleep on the ground. However on this trip my good friend Chris Grant lent me his hammock...

jon mac+kuksa

I had the most comfortable nights sleep. This hammock is super large, just right for a long fella like myself, and weighs next to nothing. Chris bought it from Lakelandbushcraft I will be calling them soon to place an order...

John Arthur, Chris Grant
John Arthur snapping away whilst Chris heads into the forest.
We trekked in with all sorts of heavy equipment for a long stay, including our carving tools and a cast iron cooking pot...
We ate very well....

Sean the silver fox.

Tired after a long and busy day I prepared a grand supper of beef stew.
It went down well.
I think the lads were pleased they bought a good chef.
We also managed to fit in some time with Chris at his workshop...

Jon Mac (Chris Grant)

So...Now I am back home in Devon. I have been working hard with a couple of jobs...

jon mac+kuksa

I have been carving a knife handle to fit a Grant utility blade for a friend of mine...
Here's how it should look...

jon mac+kuksa

And I have finished carving one of the burrs...

jon mac+kuksa

A departure from my normal style, I enjoyed carving this Kuksa very much...

jon mac+kuksa

And it will serve to remind me of a splendid time with good friends...

jon mac+kuksa

I have soaked it in Tung oil and will repeat the soakings until I am satisfied with the finish...

jon mac+kuksa

Hopefully I will get to visit again in the not too distant future...

jon mac+kuksa

Thanks Chris Grant for guiding us.
Sean for driving us.
And John Arthur ........


  1. Fantastic looking kuksa that is :)


  2. Great to hear from you Martijn...

  3. Nice wood; nice work. I grew up around the family sawmill and enjoy such wood. My mother, however, thinks such grain looks "messy" (along with curly maple and any other figured wood)!

  4. I think I would like to live near an old fashioned saw mill. I enjoyed working with the Birch burr very much...J

  5. great pics joh,sorry i couldnt get there.

  6. Hi hi Grimbo...We'll do it again soon. Plenty to talk about...J

  7. What a wonderful trip you had, Jon. The birch burr Kuksa is beautiful...luv the new style too. In Canada we call these tree formations "burls". They make the most beautiful carvings and woodturnings, yes? Thanks for sharing your photos and story. :)

  8. My pleasure Leslie...Thoroughly enjoyed both the visit and writing the story...J

  9. thats pukka Jon

  10. Hi Jarmez...I'll be ready at 6...J

  11. The kuksa, and most all of your carving, Jon; magical! Now, the Kelly Kettle: my fantasy is to brew up in the rain, in a small rowboat or canoe, in the middle of some water, the shorelines hidden in mist, while fishing, cloud hidden, whereabouts unknown. That would be a trick in Arizona, but the Kelly Kettle works fine out in the back yard, too.

  12. Hi hi Bill. That sounds like a great "Day Out". I haven't been fishing for quite a while. Well perhaps one day we can get you fishing either here in Devon...Plenty of mist...Or up in Scotland...Plenty of mist...Thanks for dropping in...All the best...J


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