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Mystery Walking Stick

Mystery Walking Stick

Looking to find out about this walking stick carved by a relative in the 1960s in California. [list]
[*]Not sure what the pod-like elements represent?
[*]Anyone have an idea of the wood? It is lighter colored along the edges of the pods.
[/list]
Thanks for any info!

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It is diamond willow. The "pod-like" bits are natural divots in the wood which someone has carved out and carved around. The original surface of the stick would have been roughly level with the highest part of the diamonds (or "pods")
 

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dww2 - Thanks for the information. Our family will be most appreciative to find out about this.

Especially interesting since the willow is mostly found in the boreal forrest which covers parts of Russia.... a place from which the deceased relative had fled around 100 years ago when the tsar was overthrown. Who knows, the stock may have been from there.

Again, many thanks!

Wayne
 

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Could be. It also apparently grows throughout the US and Canada (though I've never run across any here in Maine). Perhaps an antique dealer could give a rough guess as to its age based on the type of finish, tool marks, etc. The actual place of origin could be a lot more difficult to pin down for certain, but you never know.

Dana
 

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My understanding that the "diamond" willow, is from willows that grow at latitudes north of me (in Oklahoma), where a fungus can attack the tree, stunting the branches and discoloring the wood there.

The Northeastern Oklahoma Woodcarvers Association holds an annual show, where a guy from Wisconsin usually attends with those diamond willow sticks available for sale. If I want a couple, I will get there on the first day of the show, now long after the doors open, to ensure that I get one that's worth investing a lot of time.

I just sent one to a guy who was influential in my career, and he responded by sending me two outstanding books.
 

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I collect lots of diamond willow in Minnesota. This specimen is diamond willow, but it's unusual. The diamonds can be so pronounced if someone deliberately carves them out or if the outer wood has rotted and is shaved away. I've even heard of people burying diamond willow in the ground to achieve this effect!

It's a great piece! I've only seen one other like it and I've collected hundreds of diamond willow sticks.
 

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That's interesting great work, never seen anything like it.
 

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This branch was a vary large one before it was stripped of the outer sapwood, likely over 6 in diameter. This size is very hard to find in Michigan.
 

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