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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to add some detail to this Diamond willow cane I have been working on. I chose to put some leaves on it. I thought I would share how I go about doing that. It is not hard and can add a lot to a stick. It can take some time.

picture 1, I copied some leaves from a book I have on carving gun stocks on to the stick. Not being an artist I traced a couple of leaves and cut them out to use as patterns. I over lapped the leaves as I put them on the stick to have a 3-d look when I am done.

Picture 2, I used a hi speed power carving tool with a small burr to outline the leaves I had drawn . Be for I got my high-speed tool. I would outline the leaves with my wood burner. I have also done it with a detail carving knife. The power tool is just quicker.

Picture 3,. I cut into the outline I cut around the leave, giving them depth. I will do that with all the leaves and using a small gouge I will try and give a little different shape to each leaf.

I hope this is of some help if you have been thinking about doing something like this.
 

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Great info and even better timing Randy. I just started another "green man" walking stick. Last one I carved and burned cherry leaves in his hair. This one I am going to try some red oak or maple leaves in his beard
 

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Looks good. Did you burn in the leaf center veins, or does the carver heat the wood enough that it browns?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In this case the high speed burr browns the lines. When I finish shaping the leaves I will us the burner to put the vains in the leaves.
 
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My attempt at Red Sunset maple leaves in the beard. I drew the individual leaves and then carved out with a detail knife. Tried to put some partial leaves in as well. (Probably not the best pic as I had just wet the piece to look for fuzzies.) The veins I will burn in. Starting on his hair today. Funny, the last Green Man I did was a piece of aspen (pic 3) with black cherry leaves for hair. This one is a piece of black cherry with maple leaves....... ???
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I began texturing the light areas around the leaves and got carried away and textured all the light area. I also began carving the leaves to give the some depth and shape.
 

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So you use the texturing to help "hide" the unevenness caused by carving out the leaf?

Here's a pic of some practice leaves I carved into the cut off of the oak dowel I'm using for my green man stick. Any suggestions Randy? I picked a clump of small leaves from the Red Sunset maple and traced them on the stick, burned the outline, then craved them out with stiff detail knife. Used a dremel sanding drum to try and smooth out the area between leaves. Red Oak is probably not the best wood to use for relief carving, very tough and it chips out easy.
 

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So you use the texturing to help "hide" the unevenness caused by carving out the leaf?
Here's a pic of some practice leaves I carved into the cut off of the oak dowel I'm using for my green man stick. Any suggestions Randy? I picked a clump of small leaves from the Red Sunset maple and traced them on the stick, burned the outline, then craved them out with stiff detail knife. Used a dremel sanding drum to try and smooth out the area between leaves. Red Oak is probably not the best wood to use for relief carving, very tough and it chips out easy.
So you use the texturing to help "hide" the unevenness caused by carving out the leaf?
Here's a pic of some practice leaves I carved into the cut off of the oak dowel I'm using for my green man stick. Any suggestions Randy? I picked a clump of small leaves from the Red Sunset maple and traced them on the stick, burned the outline, then craved them out with stiff detail knife. Used a dremel sanding drum to try and smooth out the area between leaves. Red Oak is probably not the best wood to use for relief carving, very tough and it chips out easy.
The texturing is just for effect. I like how it makes the leaves stand out. But it verys with the shape of the stick I am working with. The diamond willow I am doing had a variations in its thickness. This let me do deeper relief while keeping shape to the shaft. On a straight shaft like yours it is a bit more difficult. I would do a deeper cut on the outline of the leaf. Then do shaping on the inside of the leaf. This maintains the shape of the shaft. When a leaf is just laying on the ground the are hardly ever just flat. If you want or need more depth to shape a leaf You can deepen the outline cut as you go to let you give variation in the leafs shape. That is one of the reasons I do my leaves in a overlapping formations. It lets my give more depth on the inside of the leaves.
Your leaves on the green stick represent leaves and look nice. Doing the reilf makes it more leaf like. It took me (a lot of practice sticks) to get down how to do reilf leaves and I am still learning! If you look at the leaf you posted above its veins branch out on the top of the leaf, they aren't straight lines. And the edges are not smooth lines. Most of the times no two leaves are the same. But it is what the man that is making the stick is looking for that counts. Many times I do decorative designed with little or no reilf.
 

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I have come to the conclusion that trying to carve leaves, or anything for that matter (tried texturing with a gouge) on a kiln dried processed piece of red oak is a royal pain in the rear!! The wood is just too hard and unforgiving. Chips and tears out too easily and trying to sand smooth small areas cleanly is nearly impossible. I've come to the conclusion the shaft of this stick will have the leaves wood burned and painted. The leaves on this practice section are pin oak (pin oak tree is in the background). I know when I have been beaten. I have an aspen stick and a sassafras that are much better candidates for relief carved leaves......
 

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