Fancy Cane #047: Manzanita Burl , Brazilian Ebony & Black Walnut

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Project by mmh posted 04-15-2009 07:26 PM 2181 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a freeform cane handle made of Manzanita Burl. I tried to keep as much of the natural shape of the burl to enhance the form of the handle, yet shaped it to be comfortable and functional. The nature of the Manzanita Burl is unpredictable and full of voids and cracks so I have tried to work with them by filling them for stability and but not too altered to keep the natural beauty of the wood. I may try using some gemstone material, but sometimes that’s too distracting from the natural grain of the wood.

In this piece you can see how the center grain of the wood veins out towards the edges and the change of colors closer to the bark area lightens and dimples. The collar is made of Brazilian Ebony to accent the Black Walnut shaft. The shaft is quite wide at the top and tapers to 1” round at the bottom.

For more of my work please visit: ;

Comments and inquiries welcomed.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

11 comments so far

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3526 days

#1 posted 04-15-2009 10:59 PM

I really like the look of this one. Very cool.

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

View Spoontaneous's profile


1334 posts in 3329 days

#2 posted 04-16-2009 01:03 AM

Yeah, really nice! It looks somewhat serpent like to me and it looks cool where you doweled it through an eye! That’s a nice touch and I like the gnarly ‘feel’ to it. Loads of character!

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4127 days

#3 posted 04-16-2009 02:34 AM

Personal style with class.
You have a gifted eye for beauty.

Lignum ipsa loquitur!
(The wood speaks for itself.)

-- 温故知新

View scott shangraw's profile

scott shangraw

513 posts in 4068 days

#4 posted 04-16-2009 03:51 AM

Very nice!!Love the wood choices and shape of the handle.

-- Scott NM,

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14172 posts in 3982 days

#5 posted 04-16-2009 05:12 AM

I think this is my favorite one. Great shape.

you might try black or brown dyed epoxy to inlay any voids. it gets real hard and finishes well.

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

View Karson's profile


35121 posts in 4399 days

#6 posted 04-16-2009 05:18 AM

That is some great looking wood and a fantastic looking cane.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3766 days

#7 posted 04-16-2009 05:23 AM

Gorgeous wood! The cane looks as comfortable to use as it is beautiful.

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

View lew's profile


12060 posts in 3754 days

#8 posted 04-18-2009 03:43 AM

This is beautiful!

I notice the handle shape is a departure from your usual style. Is this at the customers request?


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View mmh's profile


3676 posts in 3721 days

#9 posted 04-18-2009 07:35 AM

Lew: I didn’t have a customer to cater to on this design. I get to “play” and design to my liking in between commissions.

This is a freeform that I was allowing the grain and form of the wood dictate the shape of the handle. Manzanita has such an unusual and unpredictable grain and formation that it’s hard to get a solid piece of wood without voids and cracks with the quality of grain I like. I love the spray of colors and try to keep it as the focal point of the handle and work around the shape to get an ergonomic and functional piece. Sometimes it’s a real challenge as there may not be enough wood where I need it and I have to alter my design. These pieces usually take a longer time to create, as sometimes they refuse to work and they are put on the shelf while I work on something that cooperates. I guess you could call it obstinate wood.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View WileyR's profile


7 posts in 2913 days

#10 posted 01-17-2013 05:40 PM

I love your cane tops, would enjoy seeing the full shafts, especially when it has a different wood on the lower shaft.

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


117091 posts in 3576 days

#11 posted 01-17-2013 05:55 PM

Your cains are always great designs and true works of art ,great job Meilie

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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