Large Alder Bur Kasa/Kuksa – Part 2

Unfortunately as I carved into the wood I found a flaw inside

It’s rather more obvious from the outside

Based on previous experience, I was certain that the kasa would crack here as it dried so I decided not to carve any thinner but instead worked on the shape.

Even if it did crack it was worth continuing to increase my knowledge and skills in working with bur wood and carving.  And after another hours work the shape was looking good.

A couple more hours of sanding and polishing with cotton cloth and it was just about completed

I completed it by cutting in some minimal patterning with a knife and then oiled it to lift out the patterns in the wood.  The kasa holds 3/4 litre of liquad.

I had a small piece of bur left over so I also made four year old Emma her first kasa

and engraved an “E” on the handle to personalise it for her

Large Alder Bur Kasa/Kuksa – Part 1

I’ve wanted to try and make a large kasa for some time and after an area of trees had been cleared on one of our reserves I found a large bur on an Alder (Alnus glutinosa) stump, which I removed with a chainsaw.

I removed the outer bark and using my Fiskars hatchet cut cut away faults and flaws until I reached good wood.  Then I marked the size and shape of the kasa I wanted to carve from the bur.

Using my gouge

I began to shape the inside of the bowl and after a couple of  hours work it looked like this

and after another hour it looked like this

I continued using my hatchet to shape the underside

The patterning in the bur is beautiful

and after another couple of hours work the kasa was really starting to take shape

Lapland Spring 2009 – 27th May

I woke up to very heavy rain this morning and it continued all day!!

I made pancakes for breakfast using de-hydrated egg and milk powder.  I have to say they were surprisingly good.

pancakes (Large)

Last autumn I found a nice Birch bur on a fallen tree http://naturallore.wordpress.com/2008/10/17/autumn-in-lapland-23rd-september-2008/ and so I decided to start carving a kåsa from it

Kasa (Medium)

Lacking a vice I had to come up with innovative ways to secure the bur while cutting it

Kasa-2 (Medium)

Kasa-3 (Large)

I had begun roughing out the shape the previous evening

me carving (Medium)

and gradually it was starting to take shape

Kasa outside

I always shape the inside before working the shape of the outside

kasa inside (Large)

I had been told that the bur would cut like butter and be easy to carve but I found it incredibly hard work

Kasa-4 (Large)

I have a nice piece of Reindeer antler that I wanted to use as the handle

kasa with original handle (Medium)

and so I spent time shaping the antler with a piece of Granite to achieve a good joint

antler handle (Medium)

My evening meal was simple but still tasty and enjoyable. Dried sausage, onion and mushrooms fried with split peas beans and oats, with a little vegetable stock added.

basic meal (Medium)

After frying a little water is added and simmered for 20 minutes

basic meal completed (Large)

It has been very quiet for birds today due to the rain; I male Smew and 1 Whimbrel flew over calling

A pleasant weekend

I spent Saturday in the woods and cooked a vegetable curry for evening meal.

I was sleeping on a pole-bed and using my US Modular Sleep System.

There was a beer festival with a band playing nearby, so we headed there for the evening.

I went walking with friends today and we found a really large Hazel bur (the first Hazel bur I have ever seen).


An even more impressive find was the largest Blackthorn that we have ever seen (this “Blackthorn” was subsequently identified as a Crab Apple)!

I wouldn’t even like to try to guess as to how old it might be.