Walking Stick Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,098 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you are a carver what is your favorite subject to carve or decorate your cane or walking stick with?

I started out carving walking sticks with simple southwest Indian designs then added simple animals. As I got more confident I began learning to do faces, mostly Wood spirits. I got comfortable with combining these things. I moved in to some bears also. For the most part I stayed with this subject for many years. These seem to be the subjects that are the most popular in the US. I had not paid a lot of attention to other subjects until a few years ago. I began looking at the use of toppers as done in the UK and Europe. It offers a greater versatility with most of the primary subject on a cane or walking stick. It does seem that the wood spirit in, one form or the other, bears, snake or just a plane stick are the most requested subjects of those who ask me to do a stick for them. But I plan to build an inventory of a few European style sticks. The variety of subjects I fine challenging.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,170 Posts
You are right regarding subject matter. It is different in the U.S.A.. Folk art seems to be popular ,it isn't as popular here .Think its because of traditional skills are around us in abundance .Our local church over 700 years old has a carvings underneath all the choir seat which ridicules the upper class`s and there is still a lot of stone carved water downright around. So I am a bit surprised that native Indian art isn't so popular as some of it is pretty stunning.

The subjects here are much wider and a wider use of materials are available .The most sort after stick here is one made from rams horn and is considered to be the best, it certainly takes more work than a carved topper .But the quality of stick makers here is very high. There are quite a larger stick makers shows throughout the year

Most shires here have a stick makers guild and they offer a wide range of skills ,giving carving and rams horn classes on a regular basis usually taking different approaches .The most popular shape is the markets stick there very comfortable to use highly decorative and offer different challenges to make allowing lamination of different colour woods.

There is a tendency to stay with subject matter common to American's ,and without doubt the wood spirit is the most common.

On a personnel level I do tend to stick to wildlife anything from rhino's and water buffalo to common garden birds , but like gothic images such as the griffin. and dragons, overall it helps to improve your carving.

The shanks are made from different woods .hazel, ash, holly are the most common although fruit woods are used.. Also straightening sticks which most English stickmakers do automatically isn't so wide spread in America. Think most would of you say it gives the shank character
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,086 Posts
Second on the wood spirits and bears. First things I learned to carve and am still improving on them as I progress. I have added a few birds to the catalogue, owls and ducks in particular. As my skills increase I hope to add different items to my repertoire. I have been asked if I do dogs in particular.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
352 Posts
I haven't carved enough to know. So far, I have carved 2 pistol grips, one on one of my handguns, the other mated to a vine curled cane shaft, a penis shaped cane handle, a rattlesnake, several knobs on top of canes, an eyeball and an eagles head. What a mix!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,170 Posts
I have seen pistol grips carved and admire the skill put into it .but this is not something I would do even if the law would permit me to have one in the house.

its the design that makes the difference to a topper ,I don't like the restriction of using the same diameter of a shank, only the wood spirit seems to work well using this method . The eyeball worked well on the eagles head it gives something different which I like. Overall I like the market crook its particularly good when lime wood is laminated in-between American walnut . This method also strengthens the crook considerably its a classic shape and never goes out of fashion and usually admired by stickmakers..

but have a go and enjoy yourself you will find it rewarding.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top