We have recently replenished our stock of handmade sticks from our very talented stickmakers. I am also meeting another stick maker who has been making them for the last twenty years so I have very high hopes for the meeting.
An interesting selection of woods have been used and as a result, we have some very unusual and attractive sticks.
We have a couple of Hornbeam walking sticks. Hornbeam is a very hard wood. The English name “hornbeam” is a reference to the hardness of the wood (like horn) and American Hornbeam is called ironwood or musclewood!
Hornbeam is used for tool handles, parquet flooring and chess pieces. Interestingly it is used for gear pegs in simple machines, including traditional windmills. I’m going to check that out next time I visit Bircham Windmill in Norfolk!
We have got some beautiful blackthorn market sticks with buffalo horn handles. The blackthorn shafts are very knotty and amazingly straight. Each stick has been dried for at least two years and then steam straightened by someone who really cares. The buffalo handles have been shaped by hand, with many hours of careful work invested into each stick.
We have lots more antler thumbsticks, again on super straight Hazel, ideal for Christmas presents. These have been made by a true perfectionist so everything fits seamlessly together; the little wooden tips on the antlers, the buffalo horn spacer and the ferrule at the bottom.
We also bought some more Banksia Nut handled sticks as these are my favorite. The Banksia nut is turned and each one looks completely different to the next. This special nut comes from the Banksia tree in Western Australia and farmers need a licence to pick and export them.
There’s also some more twisty wood handled hikers on Hazel. The wood for the handles is a mixture of ash, blackthorn and hazel which has been twisted as it has grown with Honeysuckle wrapped around it. A couple of the sticks still have pieces of Honeysuckle in the twisted handle which gives a beautiful and natural affect.
There are two very individual knobsticks on hazel shafts. One has a burr elm handle and the other a spalted elm handle. What’s the difference? Well, a burr elm is the wood from a burr on an elm tree. A burr is a gnarly growth in a tree trunk and when they are cut off and opened up, the woodworker is usually rewarded with a beautiful swirly patterned piece of wood. Burr elm looks fantastic when turned into a wooden bowl or other ornaments. They also make very nice knobstick handles!
Spalted elm occurs when the elm timber has laid in contact with damp ground for a time. Fungi attack the wood and the rotting process begins. If the timing is right and the wood is dried and seasoned in the normal way, then the result is a really interesting piece of wood with dark lines and different colours going through the wood. The elm wood in both cases has just the same hardness, etc as the usual elm but with some enhancing colouration and pattern.
All of our handmade and hand carved sticks and made to such a high quality with high quality materials and workmanship. I try to do them justice with nice close-up images but they all look a hundred times better in the flesh as it were. Also it would be good if you could reach through your computer screen to pick some of the sticks up as some of the handmade ones are so comfortable, light and lend themselves perfectly to being a completely brilliant walking stick that will last and last.
They make brilliant presents, click on the following link to take a look Handmade Walking Sticks at Walking Sticks Online.