The kuksa is an old-style wooden cup made to travel far and wide and be at the ready, whether the beverage of choice is water from a Boundary Waters lake, coffee of any quality, or even a splash of something stronger (so we’ve been told). Over three days, you will be fully immersed in the world of green woodworking by using common tools like axes, adzes, gouges, hook tools, and, of course, the versatile sloyd knife to shape freshly harvested birch into a one-of-a-kind vessel. By crafting a kuksa, which is more than a spoon but less than a bowl, you will engage in a wide array of techniques and tool usage that bridges the gap between spoon carving and bowl carving. This course will cover sourcing wood, carving, tool technique, safety, and tool maintenance. Specialty tools will be available to borrow and you should plan to bring a carving axe, hook tool, and sloyd knife. The goal of this workshop is to gain confidence in yourself and the tools being used. You will build a relationship with each specific tool—the axe, adze, gouge, froe, and straight and hooked knives. This is the key to understanding the function of tool and timber. There will be a fee of $25.
Alexander Yerks was born and raised on a mountain in upstate New York and grew up wandering around the surrounding woods. Brought up to rely on his natural surroundings, he instinctively works with the natural resources of the forest, utilizing the unique qualities of each tree in his projects. Alex has been a daily carver for seven years and teaches nationally and internationally at Spoonfest in England, Green Wood Guild in London, and The Milan Spoon Gathering in Minnesota. His main focus is carving Scandinavian drinking cups, called kuksas, and he currently is one of the few in the world taking on carving in this form.