Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bark tree spirit and pumpkin ash cane

Here are a couple of carvings I finished this week. I also completed a shaft for a sword cane handle (for my neighbor).  I have been wanting to carve bark for a while but never got around to purchasing any. I found this cottonwood bark in downtown North Little Rock and got a few pieces to try. It is not as large or as thick as the cottonwood bark that you can get from other parts of the US. This is from the smallest piece, somewhat as an experiment, to see how it carved. I washed and wire-brushed the bark, and then cut off an area to reveal the inner reddish color. This stuff cuts very easily, but a sharp knife and care is needed to keep it from crumbling or flaking. Very fragile to carve, and difficult for me to detail, but it is so quick to carve! This is a tree spirit that took maybe 4 hours?

The handle on this cane is based on a tracing from the sword cane I repaired. It has a nice comfortable feel and I added a wood-burned Celtic knot. The wood is ash and the guy that gave it to me said it was "pumpkin" ash. He said it was used a lot in making guitars. I like the natural color and graining of it. The shaft is a skinny piec of Crape Myrtle. I have been making some slightly taller, skinnier canes. They are very light to carry.
Thanks for looking! (more pictures in link to my gallery at the left)

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