Wednesday, 4 August 2010

A Strange Beginning.

Many years ago I started to collect wood shafts for walking sticks and indeed went onto make a few sticks. Due to change of work and location I stopped collecting and making sticks. Last year after wandering in the woods, I thought that it would be nice to make a few walking sticks for friends so I again started to gather and collect shafts. It takes anywhere from 6 months to 2 years for wood shafts to season, a year for each inch diameter of the wood. Whilst surfing the Internet I came across various pictures of Wood Spirit Carvings on walking sticks mainly in the USA. I decided that it might be worth trying to learn to carve a wood spirit face for some of the potential shafts seasoning away. The thought of actually learning to carve what appears to be such a complex task was quite daunting. The only experience I had was that of Viking carving green wood for spoons taught to me by a friend. I started with dropping onto a couple of websites,watched videos and read various books. I then decided which tools I would require splashed out on some micro carving hand tools, and my faithful Swiss army knife blade. Anyway the practicing continues. I found it easiest to carve into fairly thick 2.5 inch diameter 6 inch long wood pieces to start with. I am now 8 /9 months into the learning and although I still have a lot to learn the carvings are getting better by the stick. Despite my doubts about my carvings I thought that I would have a crack at a small carving of a wood spirit in a 1.2 inch diameter shafts. It went well since that time I have carved several sticks.

Given two away to a friend who liked the first one so much he wanted another.

Another friend had a stick and asked me to carve a spirit into the stick he was delighted.
I am about to give another carved walking stick to another friend. I
like carving into semi green wood it carves really well. The down side is that there is potential for the stick to split or crack, however none to date have done so as I use a sealer. The walking sticks have know become secondary to the carving to such an extent that I may well be going to try and sell a few sticks that I have carved. To ensure that the sticks are seasoned I shall buy in some shafts this year while my own hoard cure over the winter. I will keep you all posted on the progress of my carving.

Its strange it seems a natural progression to move onto carving but I
do not understand why.

These are a few of my latest carvings into walking sticks. I have some way to go yet but keep learning every time I carve. The eyes on the sticks are simple eyes with out to much detail. The diameter of the shafts dictate the type of eyes I carve. I have learnt to carve eyes correctly, but I like the demonic look of the simple eye on the wood spirit.....What do you think?

I am tempted to change the title of the BLOG......but unsure of what. It needs to be something more in keeping with Woodland Walks, Bushcraft, Outdoor Life, Walking sticks and Carving? they all blend into one. Or maybe it will stay as The Woodland Way..

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