I'm surprised at how perfect the Kupilka biomaterial (50% pine wood fiber and 50% plastic) is for carving and engraving. It doesn't take very much effort, especially with a power tool like a Dremel, and the results are gorgeous. Since my first attempts at engraving my Kupilka 21 I've wanted to try something a little more adventurous and decorative.
Not too many years ago I used to make and sell my own pottery (I'm pretty good with my hands) and one of my favorite things to do was to carve a small pattern into the wet clay around the edge of the pot.
I thought the same pattern would look cool on my Kupilka, so I marked out two tram lines to help me keep the pattern even. Creating the lines was done by placing the cup upside down on a flat surface, holding a pencil against the edge of the cup at a certain height while turning the cup around. Once the two lines were done it was time to break out my Dremel and have at it.
I didn't use any other pencil markings other than the two horizontal tram lines. I eyeballed the pattern directly onto the cup using my Dremel, starting on one side just under the handle and continuing all the way round until I reached the other side of the handle. It's a very simple, repeating pattern and only took a few minutes. As you can see in the photo above, the Dremel leaves a very ruff finish that needs to be cleaned up.
I used a small piece of fine wire wool to gently rub the surface of the entire engraving. After a few rubs with the wire wool all of the ruff edges created by the Dremel were completely removed, leaving a smooth, clean finish.
The end result looked great in my opinion. The irony is that even though I've got the bug to do even more carving and customizing, this is the only Kupilka piece that I have. I gave away all of the other Kupilka pieces earlier this year. I certainly don't regret giving the other pieces away, it was a lot of fun getting all of your responses, but part of me wishes I had another piece handy to practice on while I'm on such a carving kick. I wonder if Kupilka will ever add any carvings or decorative finished to their Kupilka line up? I think that might be a really popular option, what do you think?
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Brian is a Charlotte based backpacker, gear junkie, runner, and CrossFit(er). Originally from Southampton, England, Brian has lived in the US for over 20 years, finally settling in North Carolina. He spends as much time backpacking as his busy work schedule and family life will allow.