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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am starting to get a bit of a collection of sticks, canes and carvings building up around here and I am debating on taking them to a craft show this spring. I'm having two problems with this.

1st one is parting with them. My wife had her Bunco club last week and one of the gals wanted to buy a bear head carving I had just completed. Although it was flattering that someone was interested in my work it was killer to part with my first bear! ( I reluctantly let it go).

My second thought is actual liability. We are producing pieces that folks might use incorrectly or heaven forbid the piece breaks. As the artist ( IMHO a handcrafted stick is a work of art!) that creates the stick are we liable if someone gets hurt using it? Should we add a disclaimer that the canes/sticks are not medical devices? Or do we create an LLC to sell our sticks at craft shows?

Any thoughts?

Tx, Mark
 

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Not yet -- but I want to eventually! I can sympathize with you on having a hard time parting with them! I mentioned that once on this forum and they told me it gets easier. I think you need to sell them as decorative canes, sticks etc.. Not as medical devices. Now, there are a few on this forum that sell and they ought to chime in eventually with some expert advice!
 

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I would sell some of my work if I could charge $100/hour for my time. But I'm afraid that a $10,000 price tag on one of my sticks will not garner any attention!

:startle:
 
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Not long after retirement, my wife was concerned that I would just sit around. When I started buying more carving tools, hunting for more sticks, etc, she suggested that maybe stick making could be a part time job for myself.

What I found was that the market around here tops out at around $40 a stick, unless it is antique or collectable. I spoke w. a fellow I knew who manages a gift shop. He said that he was able to get sticks made from hickory saplings that he could sell for $39, but that of course meant he got them for maybe half that. Not long after that, I noticed the nature preserve where my wife and I are members were offering sticks of the same description for the same price. Very simple. Some bark sliced away where side branches were, maybe a few more for effect. A coat of varnish, a leather wrist strap and a rubber tip.

There is a local arts and crafts fair, and I saw a booth for a carving club. No sticks there, but not long after, I saw one members sticks at the nature preserve. Much nicer, carved tops, stained, painted, various sizes. But most were at the $39 selling point.

Even supposing I had a grove of saplings, and a medium sized shop, I don't see how I could produce anything even for a minimum wage, and those sticks would have to be very boring. For now, I'll give them to friends, or sell them for a nominal fee. If I get to the point where I think the sticks are reliable in terms of strength and lasting finish, I will donate some to the nature preserve. Or spend a few afternoons at a flea market, and see if I can break even on transportation and finishing supplies.
 

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I have been carving for a number of years. I may have not sold many sticks, ones with good carving on them, for a fair price. There are not a lot of $300 buyers out there. I do better with fish plaques. When I get a build up of sticks I save money at Christmas. I would rather make them gifts for friends or family than sell them for a cheap price. When I do sell one I have buyers sign a sheet that says " THIS IS A DECRETIVE WALKING STICK OR CANE ONLY! There is no claim made that this stick or cane meets any medical standards and should not be used to meet medical need and is done so at your own risk. I also have it printed on a the back of a business card I put a hole in and tie to the sick or cane. I have never gotten a legal opinion on this!
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you guys for your feedback.

After retirement the wife and I have been taking our RV for extended trips out west in the summer. Wife has had both knees replaced and it was her looking at walking/hiking sticks in visitor center gift shops that got me started making sticks. The quality of the sticks sold at places like Glacier and Yellowstone had much to be desired ($35-$40 for a plain chunk of aspen or hickory).

Some of my first sticks before I took up carving have leather wrapped hand grips or wood burnings on the shaft. As I progress I would like to sell some of these earlier ones to make room for the latest additions before the boss (wife) tells me too, thought a craft show might be the way to go. Even my earliest efforts won't sell for near the work put into them! Its a labor of love.

CV3 I do like the idea of tagging them "not a medical device". It is unfortunate we live in such a sue happy society. When I was a kid you never heard of anyone suing anybody, now I get antsy when the neighborhood kids want to play on my property. Last fall I actually asked a couple boys to not climb in my trees, for fear of mommy and daddy suing me if they fell down! When I was 10-11 you couldn't stop us from climbing trees or building forts. Nobody's parents said boo, just told us be careful. Sorry I digress! Its late and I'm rambling! Once again Tx for the replies. Mark
 

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Thank you guys for your feedback.

After retirement the wife and I have been taking our RV for extended trips out west in the summer. Wife has had both knees replaced and it was her looking at walking/hiking sticks in visitor center gift shops that got me started making sticks. The quality of the sticks sold at places like Glacier and Yellowstone had much to be desired ($35-$40 for a plain chunk of aspen or hickory).

Some of my first sticks before I took up carving have leather wrapped hand grips or wood burnings on the shaft. As I progress I would like to sell some of these earlier ones to make room for the latest additions before the boss (wife) tells me too, thought a craft show might be the way to go. Even my earliest efforts won't sell for near the work put into them! Its a labor of love.

CV3 I do like the idea of tagging them "not a medical device". It is unfortunate we live in such a sue happy society. When I was a kid you never heard of anyone suing anybody, now I get antsy when the neighborhood kids want to play on my property. Last fall I actually asked a couple boys to not climb in my trees, for fear of mommy and daddy suing me if they fell down! When I was 10-11 you couldn't stop us from climbing trees or building forts. Nobody's parents said boo, just told us be careful. Sorry I digress! Its late and I'm rambling! Once again Tx for the replies. Mark
If you guys are planning on seeing the country in your RV I would bring the sticks along and set them up somewhere in your camp site that gets a lot of traffic and see if you get any offers or comments from people. Even if you dont sell them for money you might end up making some very interesting trades and getting to know some great people. :)
 

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One thing for sure you cant make a living out of stickmaking.

I like most of you put to much time and effort into it and if you worked out the time spent on both research carving fixtures and fitments what would the true price be?

I do sell some ranging from about £50 to £70( that about$70=85in your money) but the price of a shank can be expensive to buy and the glass eyes/ferules and nickel silver collars have to be costed in.

But just enjoy carving, to buy some thing simular froma stickmaker they would cost between 150-185$ here so not a cheap item.

The best place dor selling then here is in the national parks and the lake district a tourist is more likley to buy them or a rambler .

Most people when they see them want one but would they pay the price? its hard times for lots of folks so much harders to sell usually pensioners will buy them they do seem to have more disposable income which they have earned over the years .

More oftern than not i oftern give one a way to friends and relatives do expect a drink for the trouble mayby a pendletons lol
 

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Yes it never works out to a great hourly pay. It all boils down to what you want. I have sold my canes/sticks from 125-15 dollars. I have people that want special one of a kind items, they pay for them :). Others I make and throw out into the market for whatever comes. At the end of the day I say I made something from nothing and enjoyed doing it. It bought me another tool or supply. I make one piece hard wood sticks for the most part and don't worry too much about the liability, I know they are strong enough for normal use. I had a hard time at first, but once you start getting stuff laying around not being used for their purpose, it gets easier to set them off into the world.
 

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More oftern than not i oftern give one a way to friends and relatives do expect a drink for the trouble mayby a pendletons lol
Ha ha! Great idea! I have to finish my brother's stick before he and my sister visit late this month. I'm gonna make little bro buy me a top shelf drink!

:wacko:
 

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thats got to be worth a shot of the stuff on a commision bases lol

clam interlectural rights to it both from your brother and you lol

I gotot do something about these old glasses i am sure these keys move on the keyboard
 
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