I think the point he was making was more of a style issue than a workmanship issue. From here it seems UK stick makers spend most of their time carving a nice topper and the shank tends to be hazel or another smooth barked species with the bark on. Care is taken not to damage the bark and I believe the shank usually gets oil or a varnish of some sort. The workmanship does show in the care you take fitting your ferrules and toppers to the shank.
USA stick makers tend to favor heavier sticks with the bark removed and the stick itself will range from having no carvings to being carved it's entire length. Carved toppers are a minority and I don't think I've ever seen a single crook or thumbstick in use here.
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