spoon carving first steps.... The best bits.

Jon Mac.Photographer.I live on Dartmoor in the south west of the British Isles.I am a folk artist who carves green wood with three edge tools. Axe, knife and hook knife. I carve spoons and drinking vessels. In the past I served with our local S.A.R. Team up on the Moor.I have a spoon carving blog at www.spooncarvingfirststeps.com ......................

Listening.
Jon Mac.
Exeter street art.
Devon.

Listening.

Jon Mac.

Exeter street art.

Devon.

The gull knows.
Exeter.
Devon.
Jon Mac.

The gull knows.

Exeter.

Devon.

Jon Mac.

The watcher.
Exeter.
Devon.
Jon Mac.

The watcher.

Exeter.

Devon.

Jon Mac.

The sun is shining, down here in the West country.
I’m presently busy preparing my camping and carving equipment for the up-coming 
A big bushcraft event held up in Wiltshire on 
Bush Farm Bison Centre.
West Knoyle.
BA126AE.
I’ll be taking my carving gear and demonstrating some simple spoon carving techniques to all the visitors to the show.
I have received a few bits and pieces in the post recently.
My good friend and supporter Matthew Platt of 
 purveyor of top quality wood working tools, has sent a parcel containing a new set of Bear Waterstones along with a Nagura stone, some Chromium oxide paste and g/p workshop leather.
Everything a person needs to put a good edge on your preferred edge tool.
I will be demonstrating good use of these stones and strop at the Gathering.
My friend and associate Chris Grant has been busy on a new MaChris bushcraft knife type which I will show at the Gathering before writing it up here on SCFS.
I will be giving it a test over the next few days.
But I found time to take it into the Dart Gorge for a pick nick with Sarah a few days ago.
I think you’re going to like this new type.
We’ll add it to the line up of MaChris knives already available once I have given it a full apraisal.
Now.
What with all this talk of sharpening and carving gear, I would feel remiss if I didn’t mention Kevin Endicott.
He’ll be at the show with a huge tent crammed with everything you need to spend time in the countryside.
has been a great support to me for many, many years.
Kevin’s father used to supply bits of useful kit when I was with the Mountain Rescue.
Here’s a tit-bit from Kevin’s Wilderness Gathering up-date……
WE’RE very pleased to announce that ENDICOTTS Army Surplus will again be showing their wares at this year’s  WILDERNESS GATHERING
When? Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th August 2014
Where? Bush Farm Bison Centre. West Knoyle. Wilts. BA12 6AE
We’ve just started prepping our goodies with boxes and boxes of yummy stuff!
Really looking forward to catching up with friends and customers!  JON MAC  will be showing us his Carving skills and I’m sure a certain MR BUDD  and our good friend C-T-C will be around too!
We’ll have all the usual ENDY-madness (games/comps/give-a-ways etc.) with tons and tons of kit for you to peruse and purchase.   
Customers are welcome (and encouraged) to pre-book any specific requirements, particularly Clothing items requiring specific sizes or Grades etc.
All pre-booked stock will receive a free ENDY goody-bag!
Plus, if you need any Fixtures/Fittings/Zips etc. do drop  MISTER E  a line with your needs, quoting WG12.

Here are a few appetisers to whet your ENDY-appetite;
WOOL BLANKETS  from £4  
SWEDISH SMOCKS  from just a Tenner
SLEEP MATS  from £3
RUCKSACKS  Brit Infantry/’90 Patt. from £25 with free  SIDE POUCHES  (by pre-booking only)
RUCKSACKS  Dutch C-Sting from £25 with free  SIDE POUCHES  (by pre-booking only)
OTHER ARMS RUCKS   from just a Tenner with  SIDE POUCHES  @ only £1.00 each!!  (by pre-booking only)
PARA IPK CORD  WG12 Special………just £0.50 per 16m hank!! 100 units only, so first come, first served!!
CUPS!  We’ll only have room for 100 units! Just £0.10 each! Plus, WG12 Special B.O.G.O.F!
COMBO DEAL  20 available, so pre book to guarantee, plus claim your free ‘pre-booking’ gift!
If that doesn’t get your collective juices flowing….
I’m not sure what will.
Whilst writing this I recieved another parcel from Matthew at 
Some business cards and a handsome looking Japanese folding
Rip, cross & slant fast cut pull saw.
I’m looking forward to next week.
Lots of new things to try and lots of friends old and new to catch up with.
See you soon….
Mac.
I’ll be demonstrating spoon carving at the http://www.wildernessgathering.co.uk/ 14/17 August. 
I’ll be bringing along the newest MaChris type that may be of interest to all you artist paddlers. Come by and say hello.Jon Mac.

I’ll be demonstrating spoon carving at the http://www.wildernessgathering.co.uk/ 
14/17 August.

I’ll be bringing along the newest MaChris type that may be of interest to all you artist paddlers. Come by and say hello.
Jon Mac.

New ! 
The ACME of navigational aids !
To find out how to add a similar device to your navigational tools why not visit… www.spooncarvingfirststeps.com

The all new Compass spoon from Jon Mac.

Never be geographically challenged again with this ACME of navigational aids.

Available through all good purveyors of fine navigational instrumentation.

www.spooncarvingfirststeps.com

Buddha.

Buddha.

Tonight’s moonrise here on the moor.
Dartmoor.
Devon.
Jon Mac.

Tonight’s moonrise here on the moor.
Dartmoor.
Devon.
Jon Mac.

Moon lit.
Even a man who is pure in heart
and says his prayers by night
may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
and the autumn moon is bright.
View from my bedroom window here on Dartmoor.
Jon Mac.

Moon lit.

Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

View from my bedroom window here on Dartmoor.

Jon Mac.

Ale hen, kuksa, noggin. I limit myself to three bushcraft/camping edge tools when making these drinking vessels. I use an axe a hook knife and my own design of knife, the MaChris.
www.spooncarvingfirststeps.com

Ale hen, kuksa, noggin.
I limit myself to three bushcraft/camping edge tools when making these drinking vessels. I use an axe a hook knife and my own design of knife, the MaChris.

www.spooncarvingfirststeps.com

I finally got round to re-designing one of my favourite ale hen designs to make it a little more practical for those all important camping trips to the woods or wherever takes your fancy.
As far as I’ve been told, an ale hen was an important part of any big party back in the day.
Imagine a large vat of mead with many decorated wooden kuksa/noggin floating about, all in the shape of, or spirit of, a bird, a female bird.
This design came to me a couple of years ago.
A simple design that catches the eye with its planking effect, mimicking the look of an old Viking longboat.
Very nice for parties with friends, but impractical for those camping moments.
My great friend Alan Robinson (a fine spoon carver indeed) dropped some large diameter birch off to me in the early spring.
I have kept a weather eye on it and decided to open it up last week.
Nicely spalted and settled, ripe for a bit of carving.
I used the same technique you can find detailed elsewhere in the blog to shape her up with an axe.
Finishing the detail with my knife.
The knife bevels need to be good and flat to achieve a smooth plank effect.
Hollow out with a hook knife.
Technique is everything when undercutting the bowl.
It’s worth while spending time experimenting with ways of offering your hook knife up to the work.
Invert the knife, spin the knife.
Experiment.
As long as your hook has a longish reach you’ll find a way.
My left hand thumb gets a lot of use.
I guess it took me the best part of the afternoon to get her somewhere comfortable.
I added a couple of coats of Tung Oil made by Liberon.
Altogether a pleasing shape.
I’ll be taking her into the woods for a drink very soon.
As always, thank you for visiting my site, you’re always welcome.
Jon Mac.