Monday, April 25, 2011

"a Hunter's cane" --design

I have been exchanging emails for several months with a lady regarding a cane design for her father. Her father has hunted extensively and has strong connections to Minnesota and Colorado. I had some ideas for a design and we refined those ideas over several months. The lady wanted to use wood from Minnesota and Colorado for the cane and for it to have hunting themes and connections to places important to her father. This is to be a gift to her father from her and her brothers for this Father's Day.

I like try and create a connection for people to the canes I make for them... I want the person giving it and the person recieving it to all feel a connection to what I have created, to have it represent something important to them, to visually represent their ideas, and be an investment of their time and thought as well as mine. I had several thoughts that will make this a special cane. The design itself is loosely based on the state quarters for Minnesota and Colorado, showing mounatins and lakes for the respective states. The deer represents hunting and the walleye is for fishing. The oak leaves are traditional designs found on gunstocks and remind you of the leaves of autumn, a season for hunting. I wanted to use an antler for a really dramatic handle and then I had a great idea! This antler came from her father's property in Colorado and they sent a piece of aspen they cut for the shaft. They also sent a small piece of birch from a favorite hunting cabin in Minnesota. When their father holds this cane, when they all look at this cane, they will each feel that connection to each other, the connection to places and things they all love, and they will know that each of them played a part in the design and creation of this cane.

This is the actual sketch that I drew as a template. I used basswood from Minnesota for the carved portion and I wrapped paper around it to get the actual size of the area that I would have for my design. It helps me to do it like this because I can then wrap my drawing around the cane to get a better idea of how it will actually look when carved. It can be challenging to get your elements large enough to be recognizable and stll make sense when wrapped around the cylindrical shaft of a cane.... you only see certain portions of the design when you are looking at the has to be rotated in your hand to see the whole thing! So that is the reason the fish is divided.

The shaft was turned from the aspen and has finally dried out enough to be usable, I used small pieces of the birch for the spacer between the shaft and carved portion and I also steamed and bent a piece to be glued on as a butt plate on the handle. I will post additional pictures as I get some more completed. Thanks for looking!

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