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I live in the US also and have been doing stick for about 30 years. I have lived or worked in many states across the country. My experience is that we do seem to favor the wood spirit as a subject for walking sticks. Much like the UK seems to favor the Market Stick. Most national groups have their preferred subjects.with a wide verity of ways to approach that subject. Over the years I have gone from wood spirits to animals green men and northwestern Indian totems and others. But I always seem to return to doing some form of wood spirit. It was my first love. I am enjoying learning more about the UK's Market sticks and the animal head toppers they do so well. The encouragement from those here to expand and try new things is one of the things I like about our forum.
 

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I live in the US also and have been doing stick for about 30 years. I have lived or worked in many states across the country. My experience is that we do seem to favor the wood spirit as a subject for walking sticks. Much like the UK seems to favor the Market Stick. Most national groups have their preferred subjects.with a wide verity of ways to approach that subject. Over the years I have gone from wood spirits to animals green men and northwestern Indian totems and others. But I always seem to return to doing some form of wood spirit. It was my first love. I am enjoying learning more about the UK's Market sticks and the animal head toppers they do so well. The encouragement from those here to expand and try new things is one of the things I like about our forum.
I realize that there are many 'wood spirits' out there.

They have enjoyed popularity for awhile. Many, many, out there and, arguably, all unique!

But to characterize American stick carving as a bunch of 'wood spirits' carved in the 'same way', is to characterize Chinese cuisine as 'rice and fish'.

Not to minimise the value of that rice and fish at all! Some make absolutely beautiful rice and fish... *__-

My point was that all cultures/people are a vast buffet of artistry, even those highly restricted to 'traditional design'.

Personal experience? I have never carved a 'wood spirit'. So many were doing that so well, I never felt the need.

Now, I have carved a few 'Kilroys' here and there.

Maybe if I gave him a hat and beard? ;)
 

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These are generalizations. Nothing more. But as a general trend there are more carved shanks than toppers in the USA and less in GB. You will also find more sticks with the bark peeled off than with it left on in the USA. It certainly doesn't mean all makers do things the same way though.

I'm beginning to get a feel for what I like making though I haven't really defined my style yet. I don't carve and don't really plan to. My avatar is the exception. While I do make the occasional hiking staff, after I have made a few I find that there isn't much challenge to the simple ones I make. Maybe that's why so many people carve them?

I know this much. I prefer making walking sticks or canes with handles. I also prefer making sticks with the bark still on them, though I doubt my work would be mistaken for British.

Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
think that's covered not worth bothering with

but people generalise

Think you right on all counts Rodney but most people develop there own style at some piont .

But its always looking at other people work often helps with you own and hopefully through this site helps others

I get asked quite a lot for mallard's ducks there okay to do simple and quick but would prefer something more challenging .But couples like them so a duck and drake goes well

As for stripping the bark its something I don't need to do the colour of hazel has a wide range and does protect the stick. But that's personnel preference
 
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