Roy, aka Big Cougar, is teaching a great relief carving project with his bass pattern, which you can find under Carving Class, I thought I would share a walking stick carving.
Walking stick carving is often one of the first carving projects a new woodcarver tries. This particular design - a snake wrapped around a Sassafras Twistie Stick - is a beginner's level project, but I think that even the advanced carvers here may discover a few fun tricks and tips.
We will work, step by step, through creating the round, establishing the snake, marking and cutting the twist, texturing the snake and bark, adding a frog on the top of the stick, and how to add a real honeysuckle vine into the twist. The cane will be lightly coated with a finished with a linseed oil and turp mixture and then dry mounted to your walking staff.
These are the tools that I used, but you do not need these exact tools or exact sizes. Use what you have. If you are new, a bench knife, or large chip carving knife, and a basic Japanese set will get you started. Because we will be creating the pattern directly to the basswood you can make this stick in any length!
1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 12" basswood blank
bench knife or large chip carving knife
3/8" round gouge
1/8" round gouge
u-gouge, also called a veining tool
several sizes of fine rasps or rifflers
1" wide painter's tape or masking tape
pencil, for marking the cane
old toothbrush for cleaning
thick terry-cloth towel
cardboard center from a roll of toilet paper
all thread pipe
walking stick staff - approx. 4' to 5' tall, x 1 1/4" diameter