Sunday, June 26, 2011



Q:  Where do you get your sticks?
A:  The woods.

Q:  How long does it take you to make one?
A:  Long answer:  Well, I have to go out into the woods and find sticks on the ground that are detached from their respective tree, not rotted and soft, and has the length and diameter I am looking for.  I bring it home and strip all the bark and hope that there are no major cracks, holes, or rot.  Then I saw off all of the branch knobs and sand the whole thing down.  I think the sanding is the most important part, this is where you create the canvas, decide what you leave for natural wood features and create the surface for the burning.  Next step is to decide what design this particular stick is calling for.  I have a bunch of ideas in my head, but depending on the stick, size, form, curvy-ness, and coloring, will determine what image or design will fit.  Then I will pencil in the idea for the design and make sure it fits and is esthetically pleasing before I burn.  On to the burning stage where the whole thing comes to life.  I then add stain, coloring, stain again, touch up and then take a few photos before putting the polyurathane coats on.  I usually will bounce between 2-4 sticks at a time while waiting for stains and poly to dry.
    Short answer:  Approximately 2-3 hours.

Q:  How did you decide to do this?
A:  Every time I would go on a hike I would start by looking for a branch to call my hiking stick for the day.  At the end of the hike I would always bring it with me.  Sometimes it would end up in the fire, sometimes it would come home with me.  People would ask why I had a stick in my car and I would tell them the story.  One day in a outdoor sporting goods store I saw a bin of hiking sticks for an extraordinary amount of money and they didn't really look all that nice.  I decided to see what I could do with the stick in my car.  By the time I was done, I had created something that was beautiful and useful and no one questioned what the stick was anymore.  I created a couple more for friends and practiced my wood burning skills.  After taking my stick on a quite a few hikes, I found that it really held up well and was a great addition to my hiking gear.

Q:  How do you come up with your designs?
A:  There are some images that I love and find myself repeating throughout my artwork over the years.  It becomes a cycle and you can see them reoccurring in different mediums.

Ask me more questions and I will post more answers.

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