When I told some of the folks I talked to at the local carving club's show last spring that I liked carving cherry they thought it was too tough to work with. I really like the way it carves clean without fuzzies, holds great detail and finishes beautifully with or without the bark. I also like the faint smell of cherries when working with it.
Great start Randy. That is going to be an extremely interesting piece with a fly fishing theme. I am very interested to see how it progresses as I have a guy I met in Wyoming on last summers trip that asked if I could make him a trout fishing themed cane this winter. I have been drawing a blank in the inspiration department. My thoughts were about burning/carving several species of the trout he fishes for on the shank, but I don't know.
Cherry, like most hard woods, is not a easy carve but like you I like the finished product. I am doing the fisherman on top then textured grip area. Then I am still thinking. Mabe something like a stringer of two or three fish going down the shank below the grip. Or a spiral of fish swimming up the stick. A grip lanyard like you do Mark with some real flys on it. I don't know yet. I am best at creating as I go.
Nice use of the shape of the stick for the beard. I am also studying your fixture for holding your stick - very clever. I like the idea that it is strongly supporting the stick in the downward direction.
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