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Progression Photos on the "The Greatest Story Ever Told" Walking Cane Project

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Blog entry by Mark A. DeCou posted 07-04-2008 02:52 PM 1855 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Realizing that the story and photos of this walking cane project are decidedly Christian in content, if you are offended by such things, you should read another Blog. This project is a cane that I was commissioned to build, which tells the story of the Old Testament, the New Testament, and will be used to talk about the customer’s faith as he uses the symbols to tell the story. I hope that if you are offended by the content, that you will at least enjoy the woodworking process that is used to create such a walking cane.

Also, since I can’t sit down and do the entire blog at one time, I will start today, and finish it as I have time,
adding the detail photos of each step as I can get them loaded and typed up.

The Design:
The customer came up with the concept of a cane of symbols, and worked with me to develop a list of symbols to tell the story of the Gospel, and I translated the ideas into pictures that I felt that I could carve and paint well enough to depict the message.

The final photos will go into the project posting, along with the “Story” of the cane and it’s symbols, when I get to that effort in a few days.

This blog is to show the details of the work, and the progression.

Thanks for reading,
Mark DeCou
www.decoustudio.com
email: mark@decoustudio.com

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The start of the process was a concept sketch used to communicate with the customer.

This is the concept sketch for the lower three carvings:

Here is the concept Sketch for the next three carvings:

Here is the concept Sketch for the top four carvings:

Here is the concept sketch for the handle:

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Photos of the Finished Cane:

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Making the Handle

The raw Wood is Olivewood, that I cut down at my parent’s place, as the tree was dying and needed to be removed. I rough planked the log with a chainsaw. Here I’m beginning the process of of preparing the wood on the Jointer.

The Front of the Handle has a piece of synthetic ivory that I used to Scrimshaw some original artwork, depicting the “Right Hand of Christ” on the Cross, with a hand-wrought Silver Nail through the palm, and one drop of red blood. The name of this cane was given by the man that commissioned the work, “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”

This is the back end of the handle, with the customer’s name in a style similar to his signature. He anticipated that this cane will be an heirloom in his family, and so he wanted to have his name on it for future generations to appreciate. I have found that many of my cane customers have come to realize that more than one person in their family wants their cane when they are through with it, so I always recommend that they plan ahead on how that transistion is to be done, and to whom in the family.

Here is the “meaty” hand I used as a model for the Scrimshaw. Look, 40 some years of woodworking, and I still have all of my fingers!

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Details of the Cane Carvings:

Starting at the bottom, the tip is a turned brass material, with the serial number, my signature, and on this side, the Triquetra symbol engraved.

On the other side of the tip, the “Infiinite” symbol has been engraved.

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“Carving #1: Creation”
This carving depicts the Hand of God, creating the Sun, Stars, Planets, Moons, and Earth.

The concept sketch converted to the wood ready for carving:

The Rough carvings:


First Carving after the Painting, Antiquing, and Finish was applied:

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Carving #2: The Fall:

The final painted carving:

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Carving #3: The Flood:

Here is the Final Painted Carving:

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Carving #4: The Law:

The Rough carving

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3029/2621188952_146d21d73a.jpg

The Final Painted Carving:

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Carving #5: The Sacrifice for Sin:

Ready to Carve:

The Rough Carving:

The final Painted Carving:

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Carving #6: The Manger:

Ready to Carve:

The Rough Carving:

The final Painted Carving:

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Carving #7: The Ultimate Sacrifice:

The Rough Carving:

The final Painted Carving:

The Hand with a hand-wrought silver nail:

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Carving #8: The Empty Tomb:

Ready to Carve:

!!

The Rough Carving:

The final Painted Carving:

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Carving #9: The Glorious Return:

The Rough Carving:

The final Painted Carving:

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Doing the “Work” Photos:
The customer asked that I have some photos taken where I was working on the cane:

Carving the Shaft

Doing the Scrimshaw Work on the Handle:

Doing the Engraving Work on the Brass Tip:

WARNING: (This text, all photos, project design, and the concept is protected by Copyright 2008, by the Author, M.A. DeCou, permssion is required before using for any purpose.)

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com



12 comments so far

View TedM's profile

TedM

2002 posts in 2385 days


#1 posted 07-04-2008 03:23 PM

Mark, great ‘story stick’! Looking forward to seeing more!

-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit http://www.woodworkersguide.com and sign up for my project updates!

View steveosshop's profile

steveosshop

230 posts in 2278 days


#2 posted 07-04-2008 03:43 PM

Thats really interesting. I like how the footprints lead to the next carving. Awesome!

-- Steve-o

View David Eaton's profile

David Eaton

8 posts in 2295 days


#3 posted 07-04-2008 03:43 PM

I’d love to see the finished product myself – and I’M THE CUSTOMER!!!

It’s not Mark’s fault – he shipped it out Monday as planned and it was guaranteed to be delivered on or before Thursday (July 3rd) but now the reliable and dependable (cough cough) US Postal Service is claiming that they don’t know where it is. I now understand the concept of going postal….

Now I have to wait until after the 3-day weekend to see if it shows up on Monday.

View Woodhacker's profile

Woodhacker

1139 posts in 2375 days


#4 posted 07-04-2008 03:51 PM

Wow, Mark you put a ton of detailed planning and effort and work into this cane. Great job!

David, I sure hope it shows up…that would be tragic to loose something like this in the mail.

-- Martin, Kansas

View dlcarver's profile

dlcarver

270 posts in 2382 days


#5 posted 07-04-2008 04:11 PM

beautiful work Mark.
Dave

-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,http://dlcarver.etsy.com

View trifern's profile

trifern

8132 posts in 2419 days


#6 posted 07-04-2008 05:04 PM

Totally awesome! God bless.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View romansfivefive's profile

romansfivefive

299 posts in 2425 days


#7 posted 07-04-2008 07:30 PM

that is awesome! what a great idea

-- The CNC machine can either produce the work of art you imagined, or very decorative firewood.

View Brad_Nailor's profile

Brad_Nailor

2531 posts in 2609 days


#8 posted 07-05-2008 12:13 AM

Tremendous craftsmanship Mark. That is beautiful.

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12991 posts in 2635 days


#9 posted 07-05-2008 06:05 AM

another fine posting.

great work from a master caraftsman

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Dave T's profile

Dave T

194 posts in 2272 days


#10 posted 07-05-2008 06:40 AM

Amazing work. With all of the seperate carvings and painting how many hours did you put into this piece? To me this looks like museum quality.

View David Eaton's profile

David Eaton

8 posts in 2295 days


#11 posted 07-07-2008 05:52 PM

Well, the cane just arrived and I have to admit that, while I would be hesitant to turn it loose long enough to display in a museum, it it of that level of craftsmanship. Great work, Mark!!!

View darryl's profile

darryl

1792 posts in 2978 days


#12 posted 07-08-2008 04:35 AM

this is just amazing work mark.
I’m not sure I have anything else I can say that would express my simple awe of your work.

...and the little footprints are a great addition.

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