Cherry kuksa with carved bird

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Project by Courtney posted 04-07-2013 at 06:02 PM 1144 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first kuksa. I really enjoyed the carving process, and I’m just about ready to tackle a full-sized bowl. This holds about 8oz. It’s a little on the small size (I wish I had a little more wood to work with to make it a bit taller – I would’ve been happier with the proportions), but it was good wood for a first try. The small bird on the side is very much an Esherick inspired carving. He had a similar one on the inner door of his workshop.
As always, there’s nothing like using an axe to rough out a piece of wood. Totally enjoyable. Hopefully this will be the first of many. The finish is Tung oil. I’m going to try to dry it slowly (anybody have experience with this?), and I may go with a technique I read about that involves boiling the kuksa in salt water and then packing in wood chips to dry. Sounds risky, but I just may try whatever Ian Tomsett suggests—his work is stunning.

-- It's very common for people to separate things they do from the things they need. - Jogge Sundqvist

9 comments so far

View jjw5858's profile


1117 posts in 1239 days

#1 posted 04-07-2013 at 06:04 PM

Looks awesome! Great job on it!

-- "Make something you love tomorrow...and do it slowly" JLB

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14727 posts in 2313 days

#2 posted 04-07-2013 at 06:18 PM

Nice, what kind of wood? I goggled Ian Tomsett. He may have suggested boiling because it was a fruit wood; apple.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Courtney 's profile


49 posts in 689 days

#3 posted 04-07-2013 at 06:25 PM

Hi TopamaxSurvivor, This is cherry wood. It looks like Tomsett also uses birch frequently, and I believe he boils that as well. Thanks for checking into it.

-- It's very common for people to separate things they do from the things they need. - Jogge Sundqvist

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

13862 posts in 975 days

#4 posted 04-07-2013 at 06:32 PM

In just a few short projects you have not only improved skill wise, but now your imagination is working. Great job.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View kdc68's profile


1967 posts in 913 days

#5 posted 04-07-2013 at 06:48 PM

Courtney...+1 on Monte’s comment above. You certainly have the fever (woodworking kind and not the pyrexia kind) !!
Keep up the excellent work !!

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View BobWemm's profile


635 posts in 563 days

#6 posted 04-07-2013 at 06:57 PM

Courtney…+2 on above comments. That is a beautiful piece of wood and a very interesting piece.

Thanks for showing.

-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better.

View oldnovice's profile


3721 posts in 2005 days

#7 posted 04-07-2013 at 09:08 PM

That is a beautiful kuksa … what is the origin of the work kuksa?

The coloring is not what I’d expect from cherry!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Courtney 's profile


49 posts in 689 days

#8 posted 04-08-2013 at 06:51 AM

Thanks, everyone!
Hi oldnovice. The work “kuksa” is Finnish, but I believe that variations on the same idea (and word) appear throughout Scandinavia. This particular cherry tree was small and didn’t look very healthy. It had lots of crooks in it, so I chopped it down to use mostly as spoon wood. I was able to get a couple good looking blanks from near the roots for kuksas (the largest I gave to my friend who helped me carry it out of the woods and was anxious to try to make one himself—that had a ton of marbling and mineral deposits. Really beautiful stuff). This piece also had some interesting coloring. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the tree looks like…

-- It's very common for people to separate things they do from the things they need. - Jogge Sundqvist

View IndianJoe's profile


425 posts in 886 days

#9 posted 04-09-2013 at 10:51 AM

Ok I have to say X10 on what every one had say, I just love it ,it looks native with the bird on it .
Wood worker Nimkee

-- Nimkee** Joe

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