Over the few years that I have been carving I have steadily been making walking sticks. I harvest the wood from a number of places; some is given to me by people pruning trees and bushes and other shafts are cut deliberately. I usually take from hazel stools (clumps of hazel) as they are widespread and quick growing.
Hazel was coppiced for charcoal and their numbers are plentiful, in some forests they can become a nuisance if not kept in check. The Hazel tree has mythical properties dating back to pagan times and was used to make wands, staffs and casting runes in Britain and Ireland. The Hazel tree also supplied food in the form of Hazel nuts going into winter. I guess what I'm saying Is that if your going to make a walking stick Hazel is the easiest to find and most sustainable wood you can pick, and according to pagan Druids it also has magical properties that will protect the owner.
The top of one of the first sticks carved. This one was sold. The top was a beech nodule shaped and fitted.
This one the top was part of the shaft and carved. Again sold.
This is the top of a stick that I allowed to remain slightly curved and carved the Woodwose through leaves. On the blog as Woodwose through leaves. find the original post here this too was sold.
This stick moves away from the traditional styles and celebrates the organic curve in the wood. It lends itself to promoting the carving on the stick. With the addition of a glass bead over a runic symbol this stick is different. Not sold yet.
This is a more traditional shepherds crook (resin crook rather than horn) with the additional Woodwose. Not sold yet.
The next few photos of 3 sticks shows a stick with a bulbous end where the carving sits. I have done a few of these and they are my favourite style of walking stick.
The first two are not sold yet but the last stick was carved for my father in law as a gift.
The following stick was cut with the curve in place, all my other carved sticks tend to be staves rather than palm resting, therefore this one is one of a kind. It also moves away from the traditional Woodwose carving.
Now, the next series of pictures show carvings from just one stick. This is my carving doodle stick, or stick of many faces. This is an ongoing project that won't stop until the stick is covered with carvings.
Covered in Woodwose, Demons, Greenmen, and just human faces this stick looks spectacular already.
The hours already invested have to be in the region of 30 to 40 already. I estimate that I have another 20+ before I can put it down and say its finished. Will I sell it? For the right price I guess I will.
The next few are others that have been carved and subsequently sold at fairs or locally. They round off the post on walking sticks.
I hope you liked the trip into my walking stick world? Your views and comments as ever are welcome.
If your interested in purchasing one of the ones I have available just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I do my transactions through PayPal for ease of payment.
So what does a walking stick like this cost? Well if you were to buy a plain Hazel stick in a garden centre you would pay about £30 I use this as a starting point and add £20 a carving onto the price; so in general most sticks will cost £50 (multiple carvings are priced differently, for example the stick with two carvings I charged £65 and the Woodwose Through leaves was a similar price) am happy to email more photos out if needed.
Some sticks are straightened completely, others are left slightly rustic (curvey as nature grew them) but all are practical and useable walking, hiking sticks. They are all finished in Danish oil or Yacht Varnish and have a brass ferrule protecting the tip (the bit that hits the floor) so you can just start walking with a new companion.