Friday, February 26, 2010

Scrap Walking Stick Creations

About two years ago I began carving faces, flowers, and bugs on the scrap pieces of wood that I cut off my walking sticks. For years I looked at those nice pieces of wood... some sourwood, rhododendron, or perhaps dogwood and just didn't feel right about tossing them out or into the wood heater. Even though they had been cast as walking stick rejects, for some reason I just loved these little pieces of finely cured wood so I gradually ended up with a fine reserve of the best pieces.

I might have already posted one of the greenmen here as seen in the picture above and now I'm back at it again! These little pieces of wood are just too beautiful and most of all they are just too easy to pick up and put into my cargo pockets when I'm leaving the house. During the day I can then work on them whenever I can find a minute or two.

These little "on the go" carvings are mostly unplanned so I use complete "on the spot" creative freedom in their woody creation. As seen in the other pictures I just finished another scrap wood face this week, just working on him when I could. He is made from a piece of rhododendron that is about 6" long and 1-1/2" diameter which is my ideal walking stick thickness.

While this particular little face is quite simple I was influenced from several references while carving it. Most of all I had just watched the movie Avatar the day before I began carving so that's probably where the look of something from The Planet of The Apes crossed with Star Trek's "Spock" came in. I even added some lavender skin tone to the final finish but it's hard to see from a picture.

Although he's not too complex when it comes to carving, this little fellow will make a nice addition to the "family" as I decide what the next one will be.


  1. pretty cool man! I know the feeling of keeping certain carvings that just brings nostelgia with them.

  2. dude thats pritty sic man

  3. Hi Dave,
    I find your small carvings fascinating, having just recently started a wooden dinghy project myself I’m finding myself drawn towards working with this medium and the feel it has in my hands. May I pick your brains and ask what basic hand tools would I require to start some basic carving?
    Best regards,

  4. John,
    Glad that the carving craze is getting to you! When someone asks about getting into carving and what I'd recommend I always steer them toward a good palm tool set. I find that these short "stubby" tools excellent for new carvers because you don't have to choke-up on the handles since there's only just what you need already there.

    I would also recommend getting the best quality tools that you can afford, but if a new carver isn't sure if they're going to stick with the hobby long term then perhaps they should seek less quality. When it comes to carving tools you definitely get what you pay for.

    For a couple of decades I got by just fine with cheap X-Acto carving knives and did just fine but when I finally got hold of some quality tools there was no turning back. So, if you can put out the money I'd suggest starting with the "Swiss-Made" palm carving set "A" which can be found at this address:

    I rarely use the skew or chisel but the set of six tools is a good variety and has everything that I need for most of my smaller carvings except for a jack knife which can be had for about $15.00. I have several different brands of jack knives including the Swiss-Made chip knife, Flex-Cut, and the Rick Butz knife. All of them are excellent.

    You'll probably get a different opinion from every carver that you ask, but that's what works for me. Good luck!

  5. awesome carvings dave, wonderful work, love your style, arleen

  6. Hi Dave! Cool carvings there. It seems you've invested a lot of time and effort to create those masterpieces. I bet no walking sticks come to waste in your place 'cause you're transforming them all into great works of art. I hope to see more varieties in your work.