Nothing too special here... or at least to me; just two new woodspirit walking sticks. Just recently two such sticks were requested so I've been working on them, here and there, for the last couple of weeks when I can find the time.
Although this woodspirit is my "generic" brand when carving walking sticks, the reason that I decided to post it here is that it's the first time I've used tulip poplar for an order. I've been using these particular sticks when teaching the kids in my woodshop and Scout classes to carve, but until now I've shied away from them in favor of the harder maple, dogwood, sourwood, or sweet birch. These poplar sticks are super plentiful on our side of the mountain and the dried limbs fall out of the tall trees during the frequent winds storms that come our way.
These two sticks were super solid and didn't bear any of the seasoning cracks that poplar so often produces so I decided to use them. Although most poplar sticks don't meet my standards when an order is given, these two sticks did. I especially love the way that poplar takes on the paint and finish with such a bold look that almost jumps at you. The final antique wash sets in excellent with poplar producing the greatest dark/light contrasting that you could hope for. I love using poplar for my walking sticks but it's more the exception than the rule.
As you can see I also painted on five animal tracks below the woodspirit which gives the stick a great compliment to the carving. I hope that the new owner enjoys them as much as I have in carving them.
Living in the mountains of North Carolina I have spent almost 30 very
rewarding years working with at-risk kids in a wilderness camping program as a counselor, outdoor educator, and woodshop teacher. To learn more about what my blog is all about, just scroll down this sidebar to "About my blog..."
1. Woodcarving/Woodwork: Working wood has been a lifetime obsession for me and I enjoy sharing what I know. It is my belief that hands-on and experiential learning has a direct and profound effect on the development of a child's intellect, confidence, and character. Projects of mine (and my students) will be posted as they progress and I will occasionally include a video tutorial. All of my videos can be found here .
2. Bushcraft/Primitive Living Skills: Finding ways to live closer to the land has always fascinated me. Whether it's building a shelter, fire starting, animal tracking, or just making rustic furniture... you'll eventually see some of it here.
3. Long Distance backpacking, canoeing, & bicycling: Some of my long distance adventures include thru-hiking the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail, Mexico to Canada and I solo paddled the 1,800 mile Yukon river across northwest Canada and Alaska to the Bering sea. More detailed accounts of these and many other adventures can be found here
4. Sustainable Living: I'm always looking for better ways to do more by using less. It's not so much an "environmental" thing to me as it is a quest for personal independence from material things and finding a path to more substantive living .
5. Scouting Activity: As a scoutmaster of 6 years (and currently assistant scoutmaster) I'm actively involved with the troop and "Order of the Arrow" where it is a joy to volunteer hundreds of hours each year because investing in the next generation insures a better tomorrow for everyone. In an era when most schools don't value hands-on learning, outdoor education, and the arts... scouting soars in meeting these critical experiences for boys.
6. Profiles: Behind everyone's success you can usually find a trail of some very significant mentors and teachers along the way. And sometimes you don't completely understand how someone affected your life for the better until many years later. You'll find some of those stories here.