Saturday, 12 February 2011

Shrink Pots (Krympburkar)

One of my favourite things to make is shrink pots, what are shrink pots i hear you say?, well to put it simply, it's a pot that has been made from a cylinder of green wood, that's the important bit, it must be green wood, into one end on the inside you carve a shallow channel, into this channel you place a disc of dry or drier wood, as the green wood dries it shrinks and grips the disc tightly, if you get it right, the join between pot and disc can be made almost water tight.

So how do you make them?, a simple one as pictured to the left can be made fairly quickly, all i do is auger a piece of green wood, Hazel in this instance, to a reasonable depth, then i cut off the cylinder from the main round, i then carve out the inside of the cylinder using an Indian Crook Knife and/or a narrow long bladed fixed blade knife, such as the Sloyd knives from Mora, when i reach a suitable wall thickness, i carve a narrow channel into the wall on the inside of the pot, just deep enough to act as a retainer for the carved bottom piece.

From here, i then carve a thin disc of wood and whittle it down until i get to the stage where it will just about fit in the bottom of the pot, ideally, i want it so it needs to be gently tapped into place, i don't want it too small, otherwise it wont fit the groove inside the pot, you know when you have it right as it will "click" into the channel, now i leave the pot to dry, as the pot dries it shrinks and grips the wooden disc.

The pot pictured is a very simple and to be honest rushed affair, some of the pots i have seen are incredible, absolute works or art and something i can only aspire to currently, but with time, patience and practice i hope to be able to produce pots that are half as good as some of the ones i have seen.

So what do we use the posts for?, at the moment, i have one on my desk as a pen holder, a couple in the kitchen holding spoons, one by my bed as a coin holder, oh and a couple that have been filled with compost and have Parsley growing in them, the uses are endless, and because you have removed the centre of the branch, these don't crack, split or check, unlike regular whole branch pots can.

EDIT 13-2-2011

Links to a two part video i did on making a very simple shrink pot


  1. Love these and would equally love to learn to make one. Some day.

  2. Thanks mate, they are great fun to make, i shall be putting a post up later on making them.