LumberJocks

Custom Walking Cane: African Blackwood, Egyptian Lapis Lazuli Ball, Inlaid Brass Rings

  • Advertise with us
Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 1635 days ago 8604 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

—————————————————————————————————

This cane has been ”SOLD” and resides in Phoenix, Arizona USA

To see other walking canes that are for sale, click here

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

Just the Facts:
  • Wood: African Blackwood
  • Knob: Egyptian Lapis Lazuli Stone Ball
  • Inlaid Rings: Brass Rings between shaft knobs
  • Tip: Machined Brass Ferrule with replaceable rubber tip

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

This Walking Cane’s Project Story:

Last year I built a few walking canes for a collector in Phoenix, Arizona over the past 12-14 months. This Blackwood/Lapis Ball cane is one that he envisioned, and I built it for him.

The shaft is African Blackwood, which is the most expensive wood I’ve ever used. Made me pretty nervous on this one. I normally keep a pretty good pile of kindling for the wood stove from my walking cane mistakes, especially when I’m trying something new. If the proportions aren’t just exactly what I want, out it goes…..and I try again, normally. That works fine normally when I use inexpensive domestic wood like walnut, oak, , ash, birch, or maple.

This time however, I was really nervous, not wanting to make Blackwood kindling. Also, the collector wanted me to put solid brass inlaid rings between the shaft knobs. That turned out to be quite a chore since I didn’t want to break the flow of the wood grain through those brass rings. Not to mention doing something new like this in such exotic wood, very dense, hard as a rock, and it splits easily. So, I ended up making about 10 failed attempts in Walnut as I practiced to figured out a technique that would make it work.

I did quite enjoy the smell of Blackwood dust, smelled sweet and like a pleasant spice.

The Lapis Lazuli Stone Ball added another sense of danger for me. I play around a lot with rocks in my silver jewelry work, and the inlays I do in walking canes and custom knives. However, those are usually inexpensive stones compared to this Round Ball from Egypt.

I’ve made it a goal for several years that if something doesn’t go right in a project, I start over, despite the cost, to get what I wanted. I’ve taked with some crafts people talk about how they let the material talk to them, and if there is a mistake, well that’s just what the “wood” wanted. I don’t subscribe to that sort of thinking, or that the tree has a real spirit that speaks. I love wood, but I view it as just wood. I work with wood, doing as I feel God tells me what to do, and the wood does what I want it to do. If I make a mistake, I start over. This has just been my operational style for the past 12-13 years.

In this case, the customer supplied me with “one” stone ball, and the goal was to drill a hole into the Ball without breaking, or cracking it, so that I could mount the ball on the round tenon from the end of the wooden shaft. I figured out a method to hold the ball, to drill it, and to mount it, and was quite pleased that no cracks, chips, or splits occurred.

So, all in all, this was a challenging project, and tested my cane building abilities in every aspect this time. Which is interesting, because it doesn’t look to be that difficult, a simple looking sculptural form. But, it was a challenge for me, and one that I’m glad I finished successfully, without any wasted blackwood or lapis lazuli.

Here is a list of the other canes I’ve previously posted that I did for this Collector:
  1. Pink Ivory Walking Stick
  2. Geronimo Carved Head Cane
  3. Black Steer Horn Walking Stick
  4. Natural Stick & Antler Walking Stick

Here is a link to a short article on Lapis Lazuli at CaneQuest.com

Thanks for looking at this project,
Mark DeCou
www.decoustudio.com

*

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

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

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

More Walking Sticks & Canesbr />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

- List of Other Canes I’ve built:-

Folk Art & Pop-Art Carved Canes
  1. 50th Wedding Anniversary Staff
  2. Carved Face Life-Story Cane
  3. Motorcycle Biker's Walking Cane, Carved Flames
  4. Elk Antler Handle, Carved Twisting Oak Leaves
  5. Bishop’s Carved Walnut Crosier
  6. Nascar’s Jimmie Johnson Themed Walking Cane
  7. Carved Oak Leaf Walking Stick
  8. Folk-Art Smiling Wood Spirit Face Cane w/ Elk Antler Handle
  9. Folk-Art Carved Wood Spirit Hiking Stick
  10. Folk-Art Pirate Carved Face Cane w/ Deer Antler Handle
  11. Cartoon Character Taz, Folk Art One-of-a-kind Art Cane
  12. Sculpted Wood Spirit Face Cane
  13. Folk-Art Wood Spirit Cane w/ Elk Antler Handle & Scrimshaw
  14. Folk Art Mountain Man Face Cane
  15. Shamrock Wood Spirit Irish-Theme Face Cane
  16. Walnut Wood Spirit Face Cane with Antler & Turquoise
  17. Collection of Face Carved Canes
  18. Moses-Inspired Face Carved Cane w/ Antler & Turquoise
  19. Shepherd's Stick, Carved Border Collie Welsh-Style Dog Show Trial Stick
  20. Carved Oak Leaf Walking Cane with Scrimshaw Artwork
  21. Amazing Grace Music Notes Carved Cane
  22. A Lady’s Elegant Red Long-Stem Rose Carved Cane
  23. Prairie Fire Hand-Carved Hiking Thumb Sticks
  24. A Folk-Art Carved Albatross Head & Snake Walnut Cane
  25. 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. Ash Sapling with Elk Antler and Inlays of Crushed Turquoise
  2. Knarly Cedar Driftwood Topped Sapling Stick
  3. Folk-Art Carved Wood Spirit Hiking Stick
  4. Nanny McPhee Movie-Inspired Crooked Walking Stick
  5. Naturally Twisted Tree Sapling Cane
  6. Naturally Twisted Tree Sapling Walking Stick
  7. Shepherd's Crook Hiking Stick
  8. Black Locust Tree Sapling Walking Stick
  9. 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. Ribbed Walnut Cane with Camphor Burl Derby Handle
  2. African Blackwood and Lapis Lazuli Ball Walking Stick
  3. Pink Ivory and Elk Antler Dress Walking Stick
  4. Coiled Ribbon Twisted Spalted White Oak with Walnut Handle
  5. Polished Black Steer Horn Upright Walking Stick
  6. Mexican Bocote Wood, Elk Antler Handle with Hand-Wrought Fine Silver End Caps
  7. Fancy Walking Cane, Camphor Burl, Maple, Bubinga, Whitetail Deer Antler, Inlays & Silver End Caps
  8. Custom Dress-Up Walking Cane, Walnut shaft with a Camphor Burl Handle
  9. Walnut & Buffalo Horn Twisted Cane
  10. White Birch & Buffalo Horn Twisted Cane
  11. Walnut Bamboo-Style Cane with Chrome Ball Top
  12. Walnut & Buffalo Horn Dress Cane
  13. Bird's Eye Maple Cane
  14. Spalted Sycamore Walking Cane
  15. Walnut Tall Knob Top Opera Cane
  16. Zebrawood & Walnut Knob Top Opera Cane
  17. 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. 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

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

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





10 comments so far

View Dudley's profile

Dudley

742 posts in 1864 days


#1 posted 1635 days ago

Real nice canes. I thought I was on Ebay for minute there. BZ

-- Dudley Young USN Retired. Sebastian, Fl.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112001 posts in 2181 days


#2 posted 1635 days ago

The real exotic look.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 2851 days


#3 posted 1635 days ago

Beautiful Mark.

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

View savannah505's profile

savannah505

1692 posts in 2190 days


#4 posted 1635 days ago

Very cool cane, the stone threw me for a minute, having worked in stone for so many years, I didn’t recognize it to be lapis. The lapis I use looks a bit different. You did a very nice job.

-- Dan Wiggins

View Karson's profile

Karson

34862 posts in 3005 days


#5 posted 1635 days ago

Mark That is one beautiful looking cane. Great job.

-- 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 dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2919 days


#6 posted 1635 days ago

Yet another. You have created an amazing body of work.

View ND2ELK's profile

ND2ELK

13495 posts in 2378 days


#7 posted 1635 days ago

Very nice looking cane Mark as always. Thanks for posting.

God Bless
tom

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Andy's profile

Andy

1535 posts in 2512 days


#8 posted 1635 days ago

Thanks for the dialog explaining the process.
You are right, this doesnt look that complicated at first glance, but I can now appreciate what you were facing.
This was quite an undertaking!
You really did a beautiful job on this piece and you should be proud that you took on a personal challenge, or challenges and logically approached each to get the desired results.
I totally agree with you about the wood speaking to us like that. Mistakes are our ours, and if we dont own up to the fact that we can improve to get the wood to do what we want, we will continue to cop out and say ” it was the wood that wanted to be shaped that way”. Wood speaks to me in the sense that it is a way for me to express myself, much like photography and cooking do. You dont hear people say that the dinner rolls got overcooked because they wanted a darker tan. :-)
Again, great work as usual, I like your approach.
Thanks for sharing this and your insights with us,
Andy

-- If I can do it, so can you. www.artboxesbyandy.com

View sharad's profile

sharad

1063 posts in 2409 days


#9 posted 1635 days ago

Lovely cane with that stone ball.
Sharad

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View LittlePaw's profile

LittlePaw

1571 posts in 1682 days


#10 posted 1634 days ago

Another beautiful work from a master!

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

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