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.
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.
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.
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.
Happy New Year.