LumberJocks

Walking Cane For Nicolette, a True Miracle Story, Fancy Woods & Scrimshaw of a "Praying Mantis"

  • Advertise with us
Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 04-01-2009 04:52 PM 4087 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

——————————————————————————

This walking cane was made for a special lady named Nicolette, and so it is not for sale.

If you go to the bottom of this posting, you’ll find a list of walking canes for sale, and other examples of my past work.

Cane Serial Number: #2009-04
Height: 30.125 inches

Click here For more information on Scrimshaw Art:

thanks,
Mark DeCou
www.decoustudio.com

——————————————————————————-

Materials:
Cane Shaft: Curly Mulberry (top), Burled Walnut, synthetic mother-of-pearl, Hardrock Maple, Lathe Turned Brass Ferrule Tip w/ Rubber removable tip
Handle: Kansas Whitetail Deer Shed Antler, Synthetic Ivory, Scrimshaw Artwork, Abalone Shell

Project Story
I’ve known Nicolette for a few years. I don’t know her well, but we talk each time I visit a Hat Shop where my walking canes are set up for consignment sale. She is a petite lady in her mid-twenties, with a funny sense of humor, and a real passion for retail sales and helping customers find the hat they want. She’s also always on the cutting edge of style, and so I can never guess what she will be wearing, or how her hair will look when I enter the Hat Shop each time. Getting the chance to talk with her is always a highlight of each trip to the Hat Shop that I look forward to each time.

Several years ago, when I first walked into the hat shop with three Canes on a lunch hour from my Day Job, Nicolette looked at my handful of canes and said to me, and Jack, the Hat Shop Owner, “Oh yea, I can peddle those…”

Her confidence that they would sell, and that the customers that come into the hat shop would be interested in them, encouraged me to build more and pursue the art of Walking Cane Crafting as a core product in my woodworking business. She was right, and that was 6-7 years ago, I can’t remember exactly.

Then on October 30th, 2008, I received a shocking email that Nicolette had suffered a completely unexpected Stroke, and had died, and that her funeral would be the following Monday after her grandmother was able to fly in and see her in the hospital to say her last goodbye before she was removed from life support. So, the hospital agreed to leave her connected to life support until her grandmother could arrive.

Then, the miracles started to occur. First brain activity was detected, and the hospital postponed removing her from life support. Then, she started to improve a little each week. Then, she was released from the hospital to recuperate at home. Then, she was trying to get out of bed. Then, she started to try and walk, and regained some of her speech.

Then, her co-workers decided that she would need a walking cane, something original and custom made for her. So, her co-workers asked me to make her one with fancy woods, an antler handle, with a Preying Mantis as the theme, since she really liked the insects.

Nicolette is now walking, and sometimes without even any support, and I’m told she is happy, and bubbly, and just enjoys life so much. She’s hoping to return to work soon.

It is such a priviledge to see a Miracle occur like this. I know that many people have prayed for Nicolette after the initial incident, and since then.

I hope that each time she sees her “Praying Mantis”, she’ll be reminded of her friends and the Miracle that she is, and how much God loves her.

Thanks for reading,
M

———————————————————————————————————————-

Cane Sample Slideshow: To hear Music, click the Speaker Icon

————————————————————————————————————————————-

More Walking Sticks & Canes:
If you go to my Mark DeCou Website you won’t find very many canes pictured there. I do realize that I need to invest in improving my website, but until that is accomplished, here are few more of my canes posted at lumberjocks, thanks for your patience.

Handmade Finished Canes For Sale, Ready to Ship Now:

ETSY.com Online Shop Inventory: Click Here to Visit my Cane Inventory Page

Some Cane that are Unsold:
  1. Folk-Art Carved Wood Spirit Hiking Stick, Serial N0. 2009-06
  2. Folk-Art Carved Pirate Face Cane -Serial No. 2005-16
  3. Folk-Art Carved Mountain Man Face Cane -Serial No. 2006-03
  4. Fancy Barley Twisted Ebonized Oak & Elk Antler Cane, Serial No. 2009-05
  5. Rustic Natural Walking Stick, Nanny McPhee Movie Inspired, Serial No. 2009-07
  6. Fancy Dress Cane, Curly Ambrosia Maple Handle with Black Spiral Shaft, Serial No. 2008-21
  7. Fancy Dress Cane, Walnut Bamboo Inspired Shaft, Buffalo Horn Laminated Handle, Serial No. 2008-23
  8. Scrimshaw Artwork Walnut Cane -Serial No. 2008-08
  9. Red Oak/Black Lacquered Twisted Cane -Serial No. 2008-14
  10. Red Oak Barley Twist Walking Cane -Serial No. 2008-15
  11. Walnut Ball-Top Dress Cane -Serial No. 2008-06
  12. Walnut Cane with Chrome Ball Knob -Serial No. 2008-20
  13. Carved Thumbstick Hiking Sticks with Composite Malachite -Serial No. 2008-24

-
-

Folk Art & Pop-Art Carved Canes
  1. Bishop’s Carved Walnut Crosier
  2. Nascar’s Jimmie Johnson Themed Walking Cane
  3. Carved Oak Leaf Walking Stick
  4. Folk-Art Smiling Wood Spirit Face Cane w/ Elk Antler Handle
  5. Folk-Art Carved Wood Spirit Hiking Stick
  6. Folk-Art Pirate Carved Face Cane w/ Deer Antler Handle
  7. Cartoon Character Taz, Folk Art One-of-a-kind Art Cane
  8. Sculpted Wood Spirit Face Cane
  9. Folk-Art Wood Spirit Cane w/ Elk Antler Handle & Scrimshaw
  10. Folk Art Mountain Man Face Cane
  11. Shamrock Wood Spirit Irish-Theme Face Cane
  12. Walnut Wood Spirit Face Cane with Antler & Turquoise
  13. Collection of Face Carved Canes
  14. Moses-Inspired Face Carved Cane w/ Antler & Turquoise
  15. Shepherd's Stick, Carved Border Collie Welsh-Style Dog Show Trial Stick
  16. Carved Oak Leaf Walking Cane with Scrimshaw Artwork
  17. Amazing Grace Music Notes Carved Cane
  18. A Lady’s Elegant Red Long-Stem Rose Carved Cane
  19. Prairie Fire Hand-Carved Hiking Thumb Sticks
  20. A Folk-Art Carved Albatross Head & Snake Walnut Cane
  21. Carved Folk-Art Walking Cane; 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' Story Stick with Scrimshaw Artwork-
    -
Native American Indian Theme Folk-Art Canes
  1. Apache Chief Geronimo Folk-Art Face Cane
  2. Folk Art Native American Face Cane Set
  3. Apache Chief Cochise Folk-Art Face Cane
  4. Folk Art Carved Cane of Shoshone Chief
  5. Indian Guides Chief Big-Red-Cloud Hiking Stick
  6. Apache Chief Cochise #2 Folk-Art Face Cane
    -
    -
Scrimshaw Artwork Canes
  1. Scrimshaw Art Trophy Buck Deer Head
  2. Scrimshaw Art Walking Cane: Praying Mantis Insect
  3. Scrimshaw Art Walking Cane: Floppy Eared Bunny Face & Walnut Barley Twist
  4. Big & Tall Barley Twisted Oak with Scrimshawn Handle
  5. Walnut & Curly Maple Cane with Scrimshaw
  6. Scrimshaw Art Walnut Cane
  7. Fancy Barley Twist with Scrimshaw Cane
  8. Lady's Dress Cane, Red Oak, Walnut, Black Lacquer, & Scrimshaw Artwork of a Purple Cone Flower
    -
    -
Natural Sapling/Limb Canes/Sticks
  1. Folk-Art Carved Wood Spirit Hiking Stick
  2. Nanny McPhee Movie-Inspired Crooked Walking Stick
  3. Naturally Twisted Tree Sapling Cane
  4. Naturally Twisted Tree Sapling Walking Stick
  5. Shepherd's Crook Hiking Stick
  6. Black Locust Tree Sapling Walking Stick
  7. Red BirchTree Sapling Hiking Stick
    -
    -
Fancy Barley-Twist Style Dress Canes
  1. Fancy Barley Twisted Ebonized Oak & Elk Antler Cane, Serial No. 2009-05
  2. Big & Tall Walnut & Maple Barley Twist Custom Cane
  3. Big & Tall Red Oak and Antler with Scrimshaw Monogram
  4. White Oak Barley Twist Cane
  5. Osage Orange Barley Twist Cane
  6. Walnut & Figured Maple Barley Twist cane
  7. Black Walnut and Spalted Sycamore Barley Twist
  8. Red Oak Barley Twist with Black Lacquer
  9. Red Oak Barley Twist with Walnut Handle
  10. Dress Cane, Oak Barley Twist with Walnut Ring
  11. Bryan's Cane, The Start of my Cane Journey
    -
    -
Fancy Dress Style Canes
  1. Pink Ivory and Elk Antler Dress Walking Stick
  2. Coiled Ribbon Twisted Spalted White Oak with Walnut Handle
  3. Polished Black Steer Horn Upright Walking Stick
  4. Mexican Bocote Wood, Elk Antler Handle with Hand-Wrought Fine Silver End Caps
  5. Fancy Walking Cane, Camphor Burl, Maple, Bubinga, Whitetail Deer Antler, Inlays & Silver End Caps
  6. Custom Dress-Up Walking Cane, Walnut shaft with a Camphor Burl Handle
  7. Walnut & Buffalo Horn Twisted Cane
  8. White Birch & Buffalo Horn Twisted Cane
  9. Walnut Bamboo-Style Cane with Chrome Ball Top
  10. Walnut & Buffalo Horn Dress Cane
  11. Bird's Eye Maple Cane
  12. Spalted Sycamore Walking Cane
  13. Walnut Tall Knob Top Opera Cane
  14. Zebrawood & Walnut Knob Top Opera Cane
  15. Dress Cane Set, with several Material Options Shown
    -
    -

What is Scrimshaw Artwork?:
A Scrimshaw Art Journey: What it is & How to Do it; Five Simple Steps to Success
-
-
-
Click here to go to My Website page with Walking Canes

I usually have a few canes in stock at:
  1. Hatman Jack’s Wichita Hat Works in Wichita, Kansas
  2. Hutchinson Art Center in Hutchinson, Kansas
  3. Prairie Past Times Antiques & Crafts in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas

You can contact these gallery stores directly and see what they still have in stock. They will ship to you if you buy something. If you prefer, you can also email me, as I keep fairly current on what is “unsold.”

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Background: My Cane Making Story:

I enjoy sculpting walking canes. Some folks call them Folk-Art Canes, while others call them Artisan Canes, some call them Carved Canes, while others call them Walking Sticks. There is quite a bit of argument about whether something should be called Sculpture or Carving. They could be considered Functional-Art, which is the type of work that I am usually drawn to. No matter what these canes are called, they seem to bring joy to the owners, and I have been asked to make quite a few of them in the past 5-6 years.

I started making canes on the request of a nice married couple I met on a church-building short-term mission trip to Mexico City in the early 1990’s. Several years after our trip, their son-in-law was diagnosed with bone cancer, and so they wanted to get him a specially made cane that he would enjoy using. They had heard from others that I had quit my corporate office job and started doing woodworking full-time. So, they contacted me to make his cane.

Click for details

Sadly, I also built him a casket, another first for me, about a year later

Click for details

Since the time I did that first Cane for Bryan, I have enjoyed the work on the canes that I have been able to make, but more importantly, the people that I have been able to meet and help along the journey. I do make a bunch of unique items and furniture, but without a doubt, I receive more correspondence and thank-you cards from cane customers than any of the other items I make, combined. So, they are fun for me to build, and I look forward to each new person and situation.

To keep a handle on all of the memories, I engrave a small serial number on each brass cane tip, and then I keep a detailed database log of each cane, customer, and situation. The list always brings me warm memories each time I scan it and remember the folks that have supported my work over the years, and vice versa.

————————————————————————————————————————————————

Still Want to See more of my work?

Start with each of these links, and they will take you to other organized lists of my other niche products:

  1. Custom Knives
  2. Custom Art-Furniture I've Built
  3. Artisan Hat Making Tools

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

(This text, all photos, project design, are protected by copyright 2007-2009, M.A.DeCou, all rights reserved and protected, ask permission first! Weblinks to this page are permitted)

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





11 comments so far

View SteveKorz's profile

SteveKorz

2131 posts in 2400 days


#1 posted 04-01-2009 04:59 PM

Awesome project and story! The cane looks great!

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Will Mego's profile

Will Mego

307 posts in 2398 days


#2 posted 04-01-2009 05:40 PM

A touching story, and a great cane. I’d love to see what you could create as far as handmade tools. I know you’ve made lots of hatmaking tools, But if you’ve made other tools, I’d love to see them.

-- "That which has in itself the greatest use, possesses the greatest beauty." - http://www.willmego.com/

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1996 posts in 3091 days


#3 posted 04-01-2009 06:22 PM

Thanks Steve. And thanks also Will, and thanks also for your comment in my last blog. Wish I felt things were improved some since I wrote that. Just the opposite actually I feel.

I have wanted to do woodworking tools for quite awhile, the way-over-the top, more-fancy-than-anyone-would-ever-need, scared-to-actually-use-it, sort of stuff for collectors of such things. Quite a high percentage of my hat making tools, powder horns, and hunting knives, all sit unused on a shelf, which sort of gave me the idea that woodworkers might also collect such decorative art tools.

I was planning to start with small Hand Block Planes with scrimshaw artwork and inlays, and carvings, and fancy woods with brass metal and silversmithed components. Sort of like jewelry for woodworkers. Not the type of thing that Bridge City is doing that looks great and industrial, but more artsy, folk-artsy, hand made looking things. I just haven’t gotten to that project yet. Soon though I hope. There is a lot of planning that goes into launching a new product line to my work, and I just haven’t caught up on my commissions orders enough to justify trying anything new at this point. I think they would be popular, or at the very least, give me something to donate to charity auctions, and use as gifts for friends and family, and something to throw into the mix of things in my Etsy.com Shop.

thanks for your comments,
M

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

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3000 days


#4 posted 04-01-2009 06:53 PM

I’d love to see your hand crafted woodworking tools. That would be art!

View Will Mego's profile

Will Mego

307 posts in 2398 days


#5 posted 04-01-2009 06:55 PM

I would be thrilled if you made planes or really anything. Even if they’re just for your own use.

-- "That which has in itself the greatest use, possesses the greatest beauty." - http://www.willmego.com/

View mtnwild's profile

mtnwild

3474 posts in 2213 days


#6 posted 04-01-2009 10:03 PM

What an amazing story. Great cane!! It’s not round. Very cool. Super mantis. I’m sure it will be a great help with her physical and mental recovery. Thanks for sharing such an amazing happening.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View darryl's profile

darryl

1792 posts in 3012 days


#7 posted 04-02-2009 12:38 AM

that is a tremendous story, and I bet Nicolette will cherish this cane for the remiander of her life. fantastic work Mark.

I especially love the scrimshaw in this one, vey well done.

View cabinetmaster's profile

cabinetmaster

10874 posts in 2244 days


#8 posted 04-02-2009 01:43 AM

Job well done Mark. Your work is truelly artisic. I would love to get back to Kansas sometime and visit with you and see some of your work in person.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View savannah505's profile

savannah505

1706 posts in 2272 days


#9 posted 04-02-2009 02:04 AM

Superb work, best canes I’ve seen, and awesome story.

-- Dan Wiggins

View Karson's profile

Karson

34886 posts in 3086 days


#10 posted 04-02-2009 02:33 AM

Mark: You continue to amaze me in the way you get drawn into peoples lives and are able to show your special spirit into their life and soul.

I’m very glad to classify you as a special friend.

Mark be blessed.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 2932 days


#11 posted 04-02-2009 05:48 PM

Mark, you continue to amaze me as you show your love for your fellow man and women without asking for anything in return. I want people to know your kind, gentle, giving nature. To talk to you, one would gather you to be a shrewd business man with a plan. Which I have no doubts you probably are. The side they wouldn’t see is the God loving, fellow man loving, giving, sharing, nurturing, wonderful man that isn’t apparent right away, or may never be known by some people. Yes Karson, I agree 100% I count Mark as a very special friend. God Bless, Mark.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase