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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had this big old chunk of aspen kicking around the garage for a couple years now. It's an interesting piece with a cpl very unique scars on the thick end. Finally figured out what to do with it to take advantage of those scars.

1st pic is the top of the aspen staff. 2nd pic is a basswood bears head I've been fiddling with. 3rd pic is the bears head in the "stump" I have hollowed out of the top of the stick. If I have room I'd like to add paws to the bear cub. We shall see.

Stick needs a lot of TLC with sand paper, a thinned out area for a hand grip, a lanyard and maybe tracks up the shank but it's coming along.

Thanks for looking,

Mark
 

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Making some progress on the cub in stump hiking stick.

Bear's fur is textured with a V tool and wood burner.

Stump's bark is done the same way with a larger V tool and a hotter setting on the burner.

Hand grip is textured with the dremel and a 3/16" round burr then sanded back with 320 to smooth it out. I had thought to spiral bear tracks with the burner up the stick as I have done on a cpl previous pieces, but with a textured grip area I don't think it will look good. I think it would be too much.

Up next paint the bear and stain the stick. For me the toughest part of the project is the paint work. Trick is to get the color right without burying the details with the paint. I use a method I found on You Tube by Lynn O Doughty. He called it painting wet into wet. That is to say wet the wood being painted to open the pores and apply the paint as a wash. Thinning the acrylic paint out to the consistency of coffee and applying it to the wet carving. This allows the pigment to be sucked into the wood's pores rather than dry over the top/ Slower process but the finer details don't get buried in the paint.
 

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Thank-you for sharing, My good fishing buddy passed away last month, a couple of years prior he gave me a nice piece of wood that he had been working. I've since retired and have been working on it so in a way he can still walk with me in the woods. I had no idea what kind of wood it was until viewing your stick. Aspen. your work is very good and i'm practicing carving on pine till i know what to carve on "Bill's stick".

Thanks again.
 

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With what looks a lot like charring in the big scar under the cub, it reminded me of the story of the original Smokey the Bear. I forget the year, but after a big fire out west, an orphaned bear cub was rescued and became the spokesbear for campfire safety.

Good looking stick!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank-you for sharing, My good fishing buddy passed away last month, a couple of years prior he gave me a nice piece of wood that he had been working. I've since retired and have been working on it so in a way he can still walk with me in the woods. I had no idea what kind of wood it was until viewing your stick. Aspen. your work is very good and i'm practicing carving on pine till i know what to carve on "Bill's stick".

Thanks again.
Beekster,

Aspen is nice wood to work with, but I have found that it will get very dark, almost black if you use boiled linseed oil on it. I have been using acrylic gel stains on aspen with good results. I wet the stick thoroughly, opens the woods pores, before applying the gel stain. Deco Art makes gel stain in a 2 oz. bottle ( 2 bucks or so) available at the hobby stores. Small bottles don't go as far, 2-3 sticks, but don't sit on a shelf and dry out like a larger can.

Mark
 
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