Sunday, April 29, 2012

Eucalyptus Kuksa or The Dragon Bowl.

I have been carving a Kuksa on and off for a few weeks now and here it is finished and oiled.

I had a eucalyptus tree in the garden and the severe cold last year killed it off. So I decided to chainsaw it down and make something from it.

This is the end result.

One reason for it taking so long has been drying times for the green wood and drying times for the oiling process. This vessel is now ready to take its first liquid.

As you can see I decided to add Futhark Runes to the rim in homage to the Scandinavian origins of these types of vessels. The runes add decoration and don't mean anything so it's not worth translating.

As you might see there is also a carving on the handle which will be revealed in following pictures.

I loved carving this Kuksa and if I'm honest the whole process. What added to the time it took from log to finished article was the decision to soak the bowl in cold coffee to stain the wood this beautiful brown colour. This added to the drying and finishing times.

The rim of the bowl has been left wavy and not flattened as I see in many kuksa's. Im either lazy and can't be bothered or it's a more natural look, which is I have to say I love. A flat rimmed Kuksa seems commercially produced.

This photo starts to reveal more decoration on the outside of the bowl. Again all of this takes time and patience to do, but adds much to the finished piece.

The dragon bowl. I've used this design in any forms before and a large blank piece of wood screamed out to have something on it. The runes in the centre are my initials. Even f the bowl is sold then it becomes the makers mark.

Here we can see e Woodwose more clearly. Not one of the most detailed but as this is a bowl before being a carving then that's ok with me.

Interestingly I was asked if the wood was hard to carve. I found it quite easy to carve while green, slightly spongy and fibrous. It's a light bowl but now dry quite sturdy.

The shaping at the handle makes this a good pouring vessel as well.

The leather cord is so the cup can be tied to the backpack when out walking and hung up in the workshop at home.

The final picture gives you a sense of scale and size.

One area to point out is the knot hole that appeared after carving, which I've worked around. In order to not go through the Kuksa wall I had to be careful on the inside, it has left a bulge on the inside corresponding to the knot on the exterior. Again I quite like the naturalness of it.

I'm going to start one without staining it so you can see the difference that coffee staining can make. I love the use of natural ingredients, let alone the cost savings on chemical stains. The Kuksa is finished in Tung oil which is a great finish for food prep or eating items like this. It is howevever made from nuts so those with nut allergies beware.

Now tradition states these guys need to be christened with ale or spirits. I will try the ale first!
I hope it doesn't taste of Tung oil!

Your comments as always are welcome


~ Dave ~


Valerianna said...

Quite a beauty!! Love the slow revealing of the dragon and face. The coffee staining indeed has a wonderful color, and I, too hope your ale doesn't taste of tung oil!!

Debbie Spencer said...

Beautiful! Looks like something you want to hold just for the joy of holding it.

Raggle Taggle Gypsy Girl said...

This looks great and what a wonderful idea to use nature's resources literally at your doorstep.....

BloggerPlus App said...

Thanks guys. I'm pleased with the look. Need to start a new one ;)