I had an email from Dan who lives inWestfield, Massachusetts, United States
My name is Dan Gavrilyuk and I am 16 years old. I go to Westfield Vocational Technical High School. My favorite hobby is carving. When I am not carving I am mountain biking and fishing.
"I got the idea for this shape while browsing the Internet for ideas one day. I noticed it on Jon Mac's blog. So I decided to give it a go, this is my 3rd beaver tail style kuksa. I first started carving green wood like this last summer when I made my first kuksa out of a chunk of willow. It is great fun!
Since then I have made more kuksas in the finger hole style handle. This cherry cup is my 11th kuksa I think".
Here is the step-by-step process, ENJOY!
I am using a Cold Steel Trail Boss axe that I re-handled with my own handle copying the Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe because the stock handle was complete junk.
I split it this way because some woods don't split evenly down the length of the log. As you can see, the split has a slight twist. On some types of wood this doesn't happen, the log splits straight and even. Then chop away to the pith all the time checking to make sure the surface is even. Chop a little ways past the pith so as to prevent any cracks while you are carving the wood. All major cracks start from the pith. Then chose any circular object to trace or use a compass to draw a circle onto the flat surface. I am making one of Jon Mac's beaver tail handle style kuksa's this time. The other cup I am using for reference and it is the same style that I carved previously out of Birch wood.
Here I start refining the back underside of the cup with my knife to make it more hemispherical. Then i cut away the waste wood up front with my Laplander folding saw.
I had to move inside because it turned dark outside so I finished up next to the fireplace. Here is the kuksa with all of the shavings from the inside of the cup. Don't throw away the shavings though, these come in handy. I take all these shavings and put them in a big paper grocery bag, the bag and shavings help prevent the cup from drying too fast and cracking. Then I put the kuksa inside and "submerge" it in the shavings. I roll up the end sealing it and put it on a shelf in my oil-burner room because the warm air in there will speed up the drying process. Once it's dry in a few days, I take out the cup and refine the shape of it by removing any warping on the rim and the central growth rings on the top of the kuksa. I also shape the handle in this step to my liking and once you're done.... start sanding! (this is the looong boring part.)
If you like what you see, this one is selling for $100.