My 3rd Kolrosing attempt

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Project by stefang posted 11-09-2019 03:56 PM 1354 views 1 time favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
My 3rd Kolrosing attempt
My 3rd Kolrosing attempt No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
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I felt that my work was a bit better on this one, but still far from what I am shooting for. I Just have to accept that I will only get more proficient with experience. I did slip on some cuts, but managed to press the edges back together enough to prevent any of the coloring medium to get in, but it is still slightly visible. On the positive side, I am fairly pleased with my pattern which I came up with on my own, even though I know it’s really nothing special. The photo below shows the lid being used as a spinning top.

The photos below show the Mora knife (from Sweden) that I used for the entire job and how it is held. Holding a very sharp knife this way may seem counterintuitive, but I suffered no nicks or cuts to my hand whatsoever. So it is a very safe way to hold it.

The Mora knife in my opinion has two advantages over many of the kolrosing knifes I’ve seen. Firstly it is pretty thick, which ensures a wide enough cut to hold a fair amount of the filler (coffee grounds, sawdust, coal dust, etc.) which will make the pattern stand out. Secondly, I found that I could easily cut curves pulling the knife towards me, rather than pushing it, which is recommended by some experts on the net. To do this I found it best to cut the curves with the belly of the curve pointing outwards away from my body. It is also much better to move the box around during cutting so the knife can be held in one steady position to give maximum control. The more I do this, the more I enjoy it and my index finger which is used to apply pressure to the blade has quickly calloused/hardened which makes the work a lot more pleasurable and pain free.

This post isn’t intended to be a kolrosing tutorial since I am just starting out myself, but I thought it might be helpful to let you know what seemed to be working for me at this stage. Thanks for reading!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

25 comments so far

View Ivan's profile


17012 posts in 4111 days

#1 posted 11-09-2019 03:59 PM

Very sucessfull atempt…. Very good looking…

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View a1Jim's profile


118258 posts in 4821 days

#2 posted 11-09-2019 04:13 PM

Very nice work Mike,looks great.


View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2843 posts in 791 days

#3 posted 11-09-2019 04:31 PM

I can see here your technique is improving. Mustve been real difficult to cut those circles so tight. The vessel overall is reall nice too. What is its intended use?

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

View hunter71's profile


3558 posts in 4430 days

#4 posted 11-09-2019 04:39 PM

Mike, that’s pretty cool. As bit different type of carving?

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


22410 posts in 4920 days

#5 posted 11-09-2019 05:04 PM

Looks fantastic from here, Mike. I have never heard of kolrosing before. Another connection to my Viking GGGG….. grandpas, I guess ;-)

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

View Phil32's profile


1586 posts in 1147 days

#6 posted 11-09-2019 06:06 PM

Thanks, Mike (Stefang) for including some description of the kolrosing process. When I saw the photos, my first question was whether or not you did the small circles with the same tools as the curvy lines. My inclination would be to use something like a #9 gouge to vertically emboss the wood. Each gouge mark would be 1/2 a circle. infinitely repeatable. Like your non-tutorial, I am not suggesting this is the “correct way,” but an exploration of options.

I see some similarities to this incised woodcarving with curvy lines and wiped-in stain:

-- You know, this site doesn't require woodworking skills, but you should know how to write.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4578 days

#7 posted 11-09-2019 06:11 PM

Thanks for the positive comments fellas.

Brian The circles weren’t really so difficult since the tip of the knife is quite pointed with a nicely contoured curve. this box is intended as a small Christmas gift for a family member who can use it for whatever. I’m turning and decorating 7 diffferent styles for the family as a keepsake.

Doug Actually not carving, just a straight incision and then filled with sawdust, purpleheart in this case. Much like scrimshaw.

Bob Not a viking thing actually. This is an art of the Samis, or Lapplanders as they are also known. The nomadic native people of the north of Norway, Finland and Sweden.

Phil Good thinking about the gouge. I did in fact try that before cutting the circles with my knife and I found that the lines were too thin to hold enough of the coloring medium. The Mora knife is pretty thick, which is an advantage with kolrosing.

I like your fish design. Was thinking about using an Escher fish design for my older son’s box as he is an avid fly fisherman. I agree that the dark bits made your carving stand out even better.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View madts's profile


1959 posts in 3583 days

#8 posted 11-09-2019 06:26 PM

Wonderful job on the kolrosing and also on the urn. I just tried to do some kolrosing and it is not easy. I will have to keep trying. I found that making sawdust into powder, is best done in a spice grinder. That way you also have a very cheep wood filler if you mix it with glue of your choice.


-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View doubleDD's profile


10705 posts in 3287 days

#9 posted 11-09-2019 06:38 PM

That puts my tissue box to shame Mike. That’s great work. I don’t know how many attempts you have on these but it would pass on my side any time.
I’m lucky I can make the top. LOL.
About holding the knife like that, it looks scary but sometimes you have to try it yourself to see.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4578 days

#10 posted 11-09-2019 07:24 PM

Madts Don’t give up. It will amaze you how quickly you will get better. You can get a lot of good tips on youtube on how to hold your knife correctly including locking your arms to your body, etc to keep control. After that it is just practice and more practice. Good idea with with spice grinder, but I haven’t seen any here in Norway.

Dave Don’t be so modest, your segmented tissue box was a beautifully done and useful project. I love doing segmented work too, but right I’m just turning these little boxes to have some small Christmas presents for family members. I’ve got 4 more to go and I hope I dont run out of design ideas for the rest of them.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View madts's profile


1959 posts in 3583 days

#11 posted 11-09-2019 07:31 PM

Stefang: You can insert coffee grinder instead of spice grinder.


-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View justoneofme's profile


862 posts in 3724 days

#12 posted 11-09-2019 07:37 PM

Wow Mike … you are much too hard on yourself! However, that’s what artists do, as you’re so involved with the piece of work that every little ‘nick out of place’ is harshly criticized. But of course practise makes perfect! And I see perfection, and LOVE your design!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4578 days

#13 posted 11-09-2019 07:40 PM

Madts Thanks. I found some. They cost about $23 here for a Bosch. but I get the sawdust for free, so I might stick with that for the time being. I just put a piece of paper at the end of my band sander to catch the dust.

Ellen I’ve been called a lot of things, but never an artist before. Thanks for the promotion! I’m definitely not a perfectionist and I truly feel a little sorry for those who are as it can be more of a curse than a blessing, but they do turn out the best stuff. Sound familiar?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View crowie's profile


5024 posts in 3195 days

#14 posted 11-09-2019 09:17 PM

Just a bit better, my goodness, it looks amazing!

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View robscastle's profile


8268 posts in 3448 days

#15 posted 11-09-2019 09:28 PM

OK we are now going from an artist to a dog

Nice work Mike who says you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
that knife looks very similar to an oyster knife my Dad used may years ago

Yeah BTW your really an Artististic Old Dog tee hee

Great work if I didnt know and better I would have said you turned it on a lathe manually!

10 out of 10

Bra gjort min trelastvenninne

-- Regards Rob

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