Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quaich'n in my boots!

I'm a huge fan of the quaich and have been wanting to make one ever since I saw Robin Wood's post on the ones that he makes.  I love the shape and history behind this simple drinking vessel.  I'm a fan of simple things I think, much more so now than when I was younger.  I'm trying to work more toward having at least a few things in my house that I use on a daily basis that are hand made.  Not stamped out with a big machine on the other side of the world. 

One example of this is the spoon I use to cook my dinner with every night.  I made it, it works great, doesn't scratch the non-stick frying pans and washes up with no issues at all.  I find myself taking better care of that one spoon than any of the other items in my kitchen.  Why?  Because I have a personal connection with it.  I made it, it came from a tree in my neighbor's yard, it has a small crack in the bowl, it's imperfections make it perfect.  At least to me.

Anyway, now that I am done rambling about old spoons, let me get back to the purpose of this post.  The quaich, pronounced "quake", is a Scottish drinking vessel.  Today it is used for ceremonial purposes, but in the past it was just a convenient way to drink whiskey or brandy and more importantly, share that drink with another person.  Traditionally it was used as a way to welcome visitors or to send them on their way.  Maybe that is why I like it so much, the tradition that it carries with it makes it even more special.

I had a few pieces of tulip poplar that came down in a storm in late August and I figured that it was time to get out there and make a quaich of my own.

Tulip Poplar really isn't a poplar at all, it is a member of the Magnolia family.  The colors of the heartwood depend on the soil it grows in, but the purples and reds are very common.  It is pretty soft and easy to carve when wet. 

In this picture you can see the greens and purple tones in the heartwood.  It is very pleasing to the eye and somewhat surprising when it started to show up.

I ended up making it a bit out of round, at least on one side, but overall I was very pleased.  I'll make the next one a bit smaller, with smaller handles I think as well.  I have a few more pieces to use, I need to make a spoon with some of it for a friend and a few other odds and ends.  It is all about being willing to brave the cold temperatures outside and getting the job done.

Ooh!  Just in case anyone thought my quick foray into the world of knitting was a fluke, check out my latest scarf that I did for my daughter.  She picked out the colors, I took care of the rest. 

Anyway, that is it for now.  Thanks for reading.  Keep making stuff.  Whatever you make with your hands is wonderful.  Happy carving!

1 comment:

  1. Two handles for passing around. That makes sense for a communal cup. Thanks for sharing.