Lunchtime today the reflected winter sun falling on the table was beautiful so I snapped a few of the quaichs I had just finished. I have been working on quaichs this week especially as we approach Burns night, I love these but it’s not easy to make just one or two, best to make a batch and Burns birthday approaching seemed a good enough reason.

And over the last couple of weeks much of my time has been spent sharpening my Japanese axes and adzes. This morning I took a few minutes to experiment with an adze trying to recreate some of the textures I so admired when in Japan last year. On the right is a surface which mirrors the feathers on an arrow shaft and on the left the scales of a fish. Far from perfect but nice to play with.  I was pleased with the overall effect though I have a few bits of tearout. Those of us who aim for a finish from a sharp tool have the disadvantage of not being able to just tidy it up with a bit of abrasive paper. This sort of bold tooling has to work first time, if you try to go back over it it looks more of a mess. The solution is just to keep practicing and the surfaces will get better and cleaner cut.

This is what I am aiming for.

Author Robin Wood

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