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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi being a newcomer and from over the pond I wonder if you could clarify things to me

I take it that the term cane means walking stick and sticks mean hiking poles?

Different terminology is used in the UK

The style vary from that of America such as the term wood spirit we would call the green man, this term goes back probably a couple of thousand years way before the romans invaded england something to do with the druids and there relgion .

The majority of hiking poles used here usually have the bark left on, most of which are hazel,chestnut, ash and blackthorn ,there are others.The finish of the stick is either oiled or varnished ,i prefer to oil the shank as i think that varnish chips and looks unsightly.

Myself i carve toppers on the shanks from lime wood ( you call it bass wood i think) mainly of water fowl, charactures such as punch and judy.Other types i also carve are gargoyles andsometimes use the art nova style..

I have also carved several punch and judy puppets about 4 complete sets along with the booth.

Anyway i just thought it would be interesting to see what styles the US uses and when stickmaking , the wood spirit seems to be the most popular but would be interesting to get some feedback from over the pond.

I hav`nt come across many bone handles yet am i looking in the wrong place?

many thanks for your time
 

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Welcome to the site!

Cane is a personal walking stick or walking aid, approximately 36" give or take; but the word stick is really used interchangeably for either a cane or hiking stick. We use the words hiking stick, hiking staff -- for the longer sticks that you would take on a walk through the woods, hills or dales. We are not beyond using European words like Alpinstock, hiking pole etc. -- you will see quit a eclectic variety of descriptive words and terminology used here.

Love to see some pictures of your work!
 

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Hello and welcome......one big difference between the good ol' USA and England( or any other European Country) is the size difference. The whole country of England is the size of just one state and we have 52 of them...lol

My point is that words and names are mostly regional- New England, Confederate South, MidWest, North, wild wild ( South)West, California and even the Pacific NorthWest.

I've been around the good ol' USA and would say the only place you'll hear the term "wood spirit" is not in a particular a region, but with a group of folks( that are all over the USA) that we call Native Americans or Indians and "Green men" has always meant Martians or Aliens.

IMO, a cane is a cane, a particular medical device, like crutches or walkers, etc to actually aid in walking.

The industry has it's terms, but some cultures made more use of sticks than others. The Irish comes to mind and they have their terms- shorter walking stick, longer staff, Shillelagh, Club, Cudgel, Fighting stick and Good luck Charm.

I think most folks here use those terms but this is a good discussioin.
 

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Welcome! Not many US stick makers work in bone (except maybe for spacers), nor make thumb sticks or crooks. For the most part, it is one piece, folk art style, using found material, meant mainly for utility more than art.

My differentiation of cane and stick has always been height. If it is waist high or shorter and your hand goes atop, it is a cane. If it is taller than your chest its a walking stick. But I have never certified that :) and people use them interchangeably for their own reason and purpose. Anything wood is a 'stick'...etc.

Would love to see some of your work.
 

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Hi, cobalt,

I've noticed that the production of canes, walking sticks, hiking poles, etc. has remained a noted craft in Great Britain. I suppose your terminology has more weight of custom.

For most of my life, here in the US, the only common use for "canes" was as a remedy for age or infirmity. What I understood to be walking sticks were the cane sized items a gent carried as much for style as utility. I never knew anyone who carried one. Hiking sticks were uncommon, but never quite disappeared. When I was younger, I always heard them referred to as staffs. Longer, heavier and designed for rough use. Might be decorated, but not elegant.

Over the past few years, maybe 10, I've noticed that gentlemen's walking sticks (particularly antiques) enjoyed a re-newed interest. Sticks used for walking outside of paved city areas have also become more common. They may be short or long, have bark attached, and may have some carving. No strong trends that I've seen.

I can't recall seeing any horn handles in person. I've seen a few pictures that show deer antlers being used for handles. FWIW, there are no sheep anywhere near where I live, other than those that parent the lambs that are used for chops. Goats are also scarce, and cattle are usually de-horned.

I've been somewhat surprised to see how many people carve "wood spirits." "Green man" carvings are a rarity in American woodworking, as far as i know. I think wood spirits so-called are different. Most Americans are urbanized. Even those who still live in a rural setting are far from the conditions experienced even a generation or two. Getting out into a forest, and spending a good amount of time there, is unusual. I suppose that after a time, many people realize the trees do have a sort of character, and placing a face on the wood seems appropriate.

If you care to, share more about how folks in the UK use all kinds of the class "stick."
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well thank you for your response,interesting

so wil clarify a few pionts i hope

We mainly call walking sticks that are waist height walking sticks, canes are usually made from bambo we know it.but we never use the term cane for a walking stick

The shaft of the stick are called shanks assume you use the same name and a good hikingpole shank would be measured up to the armpit,its consided to be the best height for a person..Staffs were a defensive crude heavy walking aid/weapon strong used mainly in the middle ages .

The size of England is small compared to your states, however 22 states are smaller the England,

Yes walking sticks at one time where considered to be very stylish and a gentleman would not be without one, the handles of these were normaly very ornate finished in silver mainly

Most of our hiking poles usually have a topper of some kind mine usually carved in wood.

Horn however is considered by most english stickmakers to be the best although i dont agree with them.I do know the english champion stick ,maker he usually works in horn , these are mainly from welsh rams, highland cattle.or deer Oftern buffalo horn is used. Th e most common hiking pole made from these are thumb sticks or leg cleeks, most shepards would have had one.the where used to catch sheep by hooking it round the back leg.,This however has turned into a real art form and must admit they are very ornate with some pretty good carving on them, and highly prized.

I think the term wood spirit is a mix from the english green man which denotes fertility and the american indian who worshiped the land and nature, could be wrong

Just a bit more useless info Ilive in Boston england where the founders of boston mass. came from and 10 miles down the road from me is a small villge called new york again the founders of new york.

Some of the pigrim fathers came from here but where betrayed by a dutch sea captian and thrown into the local jail before going to america, we call it the guild hall its still there basicall as it was then even the cells remain

Boston is pretty old market town there was a roman settlement here during the roman empire so been around for a couple of thousand years.The local church called st botolphs (we now it as the stump) is just over 700 years old its a nice building. and a small but busy town

enough babbling but would like to see your hand carved hiking poles, i will try to post photos of my work here

thank you all for your comments, please excuse the typing some keys are sticking lol there not made from wood tho. but i am a poor typist
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The pic i have used for this site is a dodo based on a sfuffed one in the royal albert museum in london,
 

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Anyway i just thought it would be interesting to see what styles the US uses and when stickmaking , the wood spirit seems to be the most popular but would be interesting ...
The 'US' does not make sticks, I do!

Those wood-spirits are soooo boring already (to me, anyway)! Is there no creativity?

Jeez, if I see another 'wood spirit'...

Quite the one trick pony!

You are welcome to take a peek at a few of my sticks (not a wood-spirit in the batch);

http://s2.photobucket.com/user/Beelzebubba101/library/?sort=6&page=0

And, no, I do not represent any or all stickmakers in Amerikkka, just me!
 

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Brad you do have some interesting and creative work, I like it!

Sometimes posts read differently in my head than the poster intended, but it seems you have taken a shot at something I enjoy and appreciate.

I could take offense to the insinuation that a carving of any kind shows a lack of creativity, when by it's nature it is a creation. Just because something is boring to you, which I find interesting since I haven't seen your attempt at one, doesn't preclude it from being a work of art or creative.

Some would see gluing a premade cast onto a stick and scratching some stuff on it as not being creative, however, I find it very imaginative and nicely done.

That said, I would caution you in making statements that are demeaning to anyone's work.

Thanks
 

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Brad you do have some interesting and creative work, I like it!

Sometimes posts read differently in my head than the poster intended, but it seems you have taken a shot at something I enjoy and appreciate.

I could take offense to the insinuation that a carving of any kind shows a lack of creativity, when by it's nature it is a creation. Just because something is boring to you, which I find interesting since I haven't seen your attempt at one, doesn't preclude it from being a work of art or creative.
Some would see gluing a premade cast onto a stick and scratching some stuff on it as not being creative, however, I find it very imaginative and nicely done.
That said, I would caution you in making statements that are demeaning to anyone's work.
Thanks
+ 1 from me JJireh!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
One thing i am suprised at here , the tradition of carving totem poles from different clans are pretty amazing both in height ,skill used ,design and colour .This is one thing i thought i would see some very traditional carving representing animals ., so suprised havnt yet come across any.

The size of the shank used is larger than that of the uk and would have thought that this alone would allow this type of carving.

So please correct me and hopefully will see some carved ones.

But as for pre cast placed on a stick its awful would rather see if only a attempt at carving some creativity.The only person who deserves credit for such things is the original artist some good some poor.

I am suprised to see so many wood sprits carved and wonder why when you have such a diverse richness of wildlife there

I have a book by Hilary stewart called looking at totem poles a good source book gives a bit of history on the subject but pic. are never the same as looking at the real thing.
 

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I was not demeaning anyone's particular work. I never do that!

Sometimes a valid criticism falls on fragile egos.

I have seen thousands of wood spirits.

Every one is unique!

Am I not allowed my feelings?

To see the same thing over and over, no matter the minute differences and uniquenesses, TO ME, is boring (a passing 'feeling')!.

My apologies if my feelings have offended, but we all have em.

Would you rather me be VERY careful, in the future, of sharing anything other than... "Nice work! Excellent! Rah"!

No comment, no criticism, no suggestions, no ruffled feathers?

No matter, I calls it as I sees it.

Maybe I should be banned?

"Sometimes posts read differently in my head than the poster intended"

~~~ Exactly!

Actually, I might have predicted all this and kept my mouth shut, but... I don't write the script, I just type it out.

How responsible am I for what goes on in 'your head'? *__-

Some would see gluing a premade cast onto a stick and scratching some stuff on it as not being creative, however, I find it very imaginative and nicely done.

~~~ Certainly you are not referring to my sticks, as I don't do that.

"For every Perspective, there is an equal and opposite Perspective!" - The First Law of Soul Dynamics

That is simply a given.

peace
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
a man of passion ,thats good

many people just shape the sticks to suit themselves this is as it should be, many just like the wood grain, we all have different ideas .A different viewpiont is always welcome as far as i am concered

Its just a matter of taste and sure people would welcome your point of view

Whatever the outcome of a viewpoint you can usually take something useful from it

my work varys from yours and many on this site and variation is the spice of life

Your work is very different compared with most on this site and you will get people who like and dislike it as long as people get constuctive ideas no one will mind
 

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Peace my brother. I thought your avatar was the Buddha not Shiva :)
You obviously hear things differently in your head as well :)
I didn't call for a ban or condemn your opinion. I merely stated, or intended to, that you appeared to imply that those who do wood spirits lack creativity
" Is there no creativity?
Jeez, if I see another 'wood spirit'...
Quite the one trick pony!"
and made a cautionary statement.
This was not valid, constructive critique of a work, or helpful suggestion all of which I heartily believe in, so "no" is the answer to your question of always giving sugary replies. You have the knowledge and talent that I would welcome your constructive comments and look forward to them.
My apologies if I misinterpreted this post.
 

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This was not valid, constructive critique of a work, or helpful suggestion all of which I heartily believe in,

~~~ I think that critiquing the 'subject' (as well as the particular work) IS valid AND constructive, in criticism.

You obviously hear things differently in your head as well

~~~ We all have a unique Perspective of the One (unchanging, ALL inclusive) Reality, every moment of existence!

"The acceptance and understanding of other Perspectives furthers our acquaintance with Reality!"

Moving on...

*__-
 
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