My canvas grows all around me. After pruning limbs and branches, I let the woods moisture content dry a bit before carving begins. The limbs are stored under a covered area before carving. If they are allowed to dry too long, the bark will begin to peel away from the wood. I like to incorporate the bark as part of the finished design. I carve very organic shapes into each walking stick. I am spontaneous in my carving leaving knots, swirls, ovals and coil designs on the sticks. I also carve down to the core wood, making room for the wood burned drawings that uniquely decorate each walking stick. I specialize in animal, pet and nature drawings. Each stick is carved, sanded and decorated by hand. Coats of polyurethane are sprayed to protect each walking stick. Mainly using animals and nature scenes along with recreational themes, I first sketch the subject on paper, then draw with pencil right on the wood. Then I use a hand-held tool to burn the design into the wood. The wood burning technique gives the walking sticks a very natural look and works well with the elements carved into the wood. The variety of designs I use come from natural themes, like animals, outdoor recreation, sports activities and a multitude of florals, birds, reptiles and insects. It just seems natural to see a lizard or bird perched on a walking stick. Sometimes I design the bottom of the stick with ants marching up the wood. Very fun!
I have just begun taking existing wooden and bamboo cutting boards and drawing animal or pet designs into the boards. Just provide a photo of your pet. The boards can be displayed showing the designs and then flipped over when in use as a cutting board in your kitchen at home. What a nice way to remember your beloved pets or favorite animal and it makes a unique gift for family and friends! Make sure you check out the photos of these newly crafted items on the Image Gallery page. They are decorated using the same wood burning technique as the walking sticks.
Hand Carving a Maple Walking Stick
Wood Burning a Design on the Walking Stick
Drawing an Image on a Wooden Cutting Board
Deep River Walking Sticks l L. B. Koonce l Winston-Salem, N.C. 27104