A Cause for Walking Sticks

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Project by Eric M. Saperstein posted 07-11-2009 04:16 AM 2043 views 3 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Earlier this year my father’s cousin Michael sent us some information about a former Army Ranger, Rory Fanning, who decided to take time out of his life to walk clear across the US to raise funds for The Pat Tillman Foundation. Rory’s quest is personal, he served with Tillman, and the two were close friends through training and under fire. Micheal’s son Desmond served with the same ranger battalion as Rory Fanning & Pat Tillman so the cause touched our family.

This note made me think that perhaps we could help support Rory’s quest. When my father (Stan Saperstein) decided to declare himself retired from the shop (except of course when he has a better way than mine …) he began to ramp up his hobbies which include whittling/carving a unique variety of folk art walking sticks, canes, and hiking staffs. We have probably hundreds of photos of these projects in various states of in progress through completion, some in use.

The thought process should become obvious – walking sticks – walking quest … I got in touch with Rory and we setup a program where Artisans will donate a portion of proceeds from walking stick commissions to the “Walk for Pat” foundation – which in turn will be forwarded to The Pat Tillman Foundation. The details of what became known as “A Cause for Walking Sticks” is detailed in the article links below. Our 2009 Q2 newsletter features Desmond’s unit, and a variety of other articles and features.

Our walking sticks gallery is featured on our spin-off website:

These unique sticks feature a variety of customizations including carvings of eagles, hawks, ravens, and owls. There are rams, dogs, cats, bears, wolves, and buffalo. A few dozen snakes or more over the years, including a wizard’s staff with a black cobra swallowing a jewel. Mason sticks, historic themes, and dream catchers. We can’t forget diamond willow – these staffs are always eye catching.

His staffs are from milled lumber or natural saplings or branches. Details are carved, whittled, burned, inlaid, or painted. Materials include diamond willow, walnut, oak, ebony, rosewood, poplar, oak, boxwood, basswood, bone, ivory, gold, silver, copper, even jewels. It all depends on the project. I’ll post some individual staff features shortly.

Since everyone here is obviously in possession of skills and talents – take this as one possible way you can put those gifts towards supporting an important cause. Works of art you create can be offers for auction, raffles, or portions of proceeds can be contributed. We are discussing some other projects were we can forge relationships with various foundations, I’m hoping to post more details on those soon.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

5 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117062 posts in 3541 days

#1 posted 07-11-2009 05:02 AM


-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3554 days

#2 posted 07-11-2009 06:04 AM

The ram is my fav, but they are all nice. I’m still confused as to if you are posting your work or others, but thanks for sharing

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 3212 days

#3 posted 07-11-2009 06:16 AM

Artisans of the Valley basically consists of myself, my fiance, and my father. We have various affiliates, such as Bob Eigenrach our chainsaw carver, that we work with on various projects. Any combination of us may be involved in different projects.

Who did what will be described in the plot subtext. My father has gotten as far is dealing with email, I still haven’t gotten him set to do blog posts, forum interactions, etc. So he enjoys discussions about his work, but I can’t seem to get him set to post it himself yet. I’m working on it …

The walking sticks are my father’s pass time.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View bigdave's profile


27 posts in 3249 days

#4 posted 07-11-2009 04:36 PM

Very interesting Eric. Really enjoying the work you’ve been posting. Can usually tells it’s a post of yours by the pics alone!

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4211 days

#5 posted 07-11-2009 06:16 PM

Nice walking sticks. Unique.

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

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