Hand carving your own Kuksa cup
If the name Hywel Evans rings a bell, it may be because you saw the fantastic pictures of his hand-finished Julius Pettersson Knife that we posted on our blog earlier this year. Well, Hywel has been busy again, putting his new knife to use in carving his very own Kuksa cup.
The Kuksa, or Guksi as it is otherwise known, is a traditional style of drinking cup originating from the Sami people of Northern Europe, which is carved from wood. Here’s how Hywel made his:
Hi guys, just thought I would send you the making of my Kuksa cup for the Woodlore blog. I started off by cutting a large birch burl off a tree I found with a 5 ft cross-cut saw, the only real tool in my opinion that can cut such a large burl off a tree without using a chain saw. I trimmed down the outer bark with a small hatchet and soaked the burl in water for a while to remove some of the sap in the wood, making the drying process faster. I then drew around a cup on the flat side to produce a cylindrical outline:
I then cut the excess pieces off with a bow saw and further trimmed with the hatchet:
Using my knife I then carved the cup into shape, with burl wood there are often hidden faults in the wood, so I did change the style slightly as I went along, remembering to always leave more wood than I needed. The carving was done quickly while the wood was still green because it is a lot easier to carve:
The Kuksa was then boiled in salt water to dry it out before being sanded and oiled:
And finally, inlayed with reindeer antler: