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Carved Folk-Art Walking Cane; "The Greatest Story Ever Told" Story Stick with Scrimshaw Artwork

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 07-15-2008 04:38 AM 8465 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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This walking cane was a commissioned piece, and so it has been Sold

Cane Serial Number #2008-29
Height: 38 inches

Welcome Surfers:
If you are surfing looking for a special walking cane on the internet, go toward the bottom of this posting where you’ll find a list of canes that I have built that are ready to ship immediately. Also, there are links to several more customized canes that have already been sold to give you ideas for your own commissioned cane.

You can reach me by emailing to:
mark@decoustudio.com

Or you can visit the DeCou Website

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Project Story

A nice man in Georgia, USA found my walking canes on the internet through my other lumberjock cane listings, and asked for me to build him a special cane with a special message.

His concept was to take symbols and carve them on the cane so that he could tell the story of the Old and New Testament of the Holy Bible, and show that Jesus was the Christ. He is a Youth Pastor at a church, and anticipates using the cane to talk about his Faith as he uses it to support a badly hurting knee.

The conceptsfor the artwork were his ideas. I converted the ideas into some pictures that I thought I could manage to carve on a cane shaft. His “Story” of what each of the symbols means and how he will use the story is below, in his own words. I hope the cane is used for many years as he “stands up” for Jesus.

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Materials:
The Shaft Wood is Kansas Black Walnut. The Handle is Olivewood that I harvested from a tree at my parent’s house. The Scrimshaw artwork has been done on synthetic antique ivory, and the tip is yellow brass. The finish is clear satin lacquer, and the paint is thinned acrylic. The “Nails” are silver.

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The Handle:
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.

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The Brass Ferrule:

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Blogging The Process:

If you would like to know more about the process of how I carved this cane, I included some process photos in two blog articles I wrote on this cane:

Blog 1:
Planning Steps for a Carved Story Stick

Blog 2:
Progression Photos on 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' Walking Cane

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The Story Shown In The Carved Symbols:

“The Greatest Story Ever Told” – By David Eaton

The greatest story ever told is first and foremost a love story. It is a story of a love that was lost and the efforts that were made over the history of mankind to restore that relationship. It is the story of God’s love for us and what He did to restore a relationship with us after we turned our back on Him.

While it is fairly easy for us to come to grips with the concept of something lasting forever, it is a little more difficult for us to wrap our minds around the concept of something having no beginning. That is exactly what we need to understand, however, when we think of God. He, personified by three distinct and different entities (the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit) had no beginning. For millennium on end He communed with Himself and benefited from the praise and adoration poured out on Him by the angels.

Angels were created to serve and worship Him, however, and He wanted to have a relationship with someone who would love Him and desire a relationship with Him by choice, not because of the way they were programmed upon creation. That is why he created us – and did so in His own image.

That doesn’t mean that we are all identical to God – but it does mean that we share many of the same characteristics with Him – including free will. God created us with the ability to choose to love Him or not and/or obey Him or not.

God spoke the entire universe and all its inhabitants into existence but took the time to form us by hand. We were created by Him and for Him. The first humans, Adam and Eve, spend time walking through the Garden of Eden enjoying fellowship with the One that created the entire universe. How awesome that must have been….

That all ended, however. One day mankind disobeyed their Creator by choosing to eat the fruit from a forbidden tree. From that moment on Adam and Eve, as well as all their descendants, were separated from God by sin.

Over the course of the next 2000 years the generations that began to inhabit the earth gradually turned their back on God until there was only one man and his family that remained faithful to God. Noah and his family were the only ones that God spared when He decided to flood the earth and destroy all mankind. He built an ark, God filled it with a pair of all the animals on the earth, and the earth was destroyed.

Following generations were not much better. As people began to spread over the globe and form ethnic groups and nationalities, many of them began to fashion their own gods and worship them accordingly. God formed a covenant with one group, the Israelites, and gave them the Ten Commandments, the beginnings of the Law and a moral code by which we all should live.

He still longed to commune with us on a more personal level, however, so He had the Israelites build a tabernacle which contained an ark. The ark, where the presence of the Lord would reside, was separated from the people by a veil, however, and no one could enter this area except for the High Priest – and then only once a year. Because God is pure, and cannot condone the presence of sin, the High Priest would have to ensure that he had sought forgiveness from all his sins before entering the presence of God or else he would be struck dead.

As for the sins of everyone else, God instituted a sacrificial system whereby we would seek His forgiveness for our wrong doings through the sacrifice of an innocent animal, usually a lamb. These animals would have to be free of all spots or blemishes (symbolic of being not only innocent but free from any sin) and would be sacrificed by the priests during religious ceremonies.

While this practice might seem bloody and barbaric by today’s standards, bear in mind that most other religious practices of the day (the worshiping of other gods and idols) routinely involved perverse sexual practices or the sacrifice of others up to and including other humans – typically children or infants.

While this shedding of blood provided humans with temporary forgiveness for their sins, it was necessarily to repeat it on an ongoing basis since all of us, no matter how hard we try, “miss the mark” (the historical definition of the word “sin”) and disobey the laws handed down by God. For that reason it was necessary for an innocent man, one that had never sinned, to be sacrificed on our behalf. Since the sinful nature is passed down to all of us by our ancestral fathers, it would be necessary for this Man to be born of a virgin as well.

And that brings us to the beginnings of the best part of this story. Some 2000 years ago the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, was born of a virgin in a manger in Bethlehem. While being fully God, He was also fully man and lived a sinless life.

It was more than a coincidence, being God’s will since the sacrificial system was established, that Jesus, having been referred to as the “Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world,” died at the very time that the priests were performing their annual Passover sacrifices in the temple just a short distance away. At the moment of His death there was a violent earthquake, darkness settled upon the entire earth for three hours, and the veil in the temple, the one separating the public from the same ark of the covenant that was used in the tabernacle, was rent in two from top to bottom – signifying that we no longer need a priest to perform intercession on our behalf: we can come to Christ ourselves and have that personal relationship with Him.

This love story doesn’t stop there, however. Jesus not only provided the way for us to have permanent forgiveness for our sins but He also offered us the opportunity to have eternal life. He did this by conquering death himself and rising from the dead after three days and nights.

This assurance of our eternal life is what sets Christianity apart from other religions. The founders of all other religious movements can be found in a grave somewhere – and yet hundreds of witnesses testified to seeing our risen Lord before He ascended into Heaven – many of whom went to a martyr’s death rather than denounce their faith in their risen Savior.

The final chapter of this love story has yet to be written, but will begin with the return of Christ to “rapture” those that have put their faith and trust in Him to live with Him in Heaven.

How can you be one of those chosen ones? It’s simple. Start by recognizing that you are a sinner and have “missed the mark.” The Bible tells us that everyone has sinned. It goes on to say that the wages (penalty) for that sin is death – but immediately reminds us that Jesus willingly paid that penalty for us. All we have to do is to seek His forgiveness for our sins and put our faith and trust in Him to forgive those sins and give us eternal life with Him.

So many people say, “But that’s too easy!” You’re right. It is easy for us – but it wasn’t easy for Christ. As far as our part is concerned, it’s as easy as accepting a free gift. You have to remember the story from its beginning, however, and bear in mind that this is a love story. God loved us so much that, even knowing that the death of His only Son would be required to restore our relationship with Him, he still created us in order to have that relationship with Him. Salvation is, quite literally, a “Gift from God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23)


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

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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

  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

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New Cane Designs that are “In the Works” waiting on customer approval
  1. Barak Obama for President 2008, Carved Bust Top Political Figure Collector Cane
  2. Folk-Art Walking Cane with Carved Face of Christ, in Figured Bubinga, Antler Handle
  3. American Eagle Carved Walking Cane for an Injured Iraqi War Air Force Veteran
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Folk Art Face Carved Canes
  1. Folk-Art Smiling Wood Spirit Face Cane w/ Elk Antler Handle
  2. Folk-Art Carved Wood Spirit Hiking Stick
  3. Folk-Art Pirate Carved Face Cane w/ Deer Antler Handle
  4. Cartoon Character Taz, Folk Art One-of-a-kind Art Cane
  5. Sculpted Wood Spirit Face Cane
  6. Folk-Art Wood Spirit Cane w/ Elk Antler Handle & Scrimshaw
  7. Folk Art Mountain Man Face Cane
  8. Shamrock Wood Spirit Irish-Theme Face Cane
  9. Walnut Wood Spirit Face Cane with Antler & Turquoise
  10. Collection of Face Carved Canes
  11. Moses-Inspired Face Carved Cane w/ Antler & Turquoise
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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
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Other Hand Carved Folk-Art Canes/Sticks
  1. Shepherd's Stick, Carved Border Collie Welsh-Style Dog Show Trial Stick
  2. Carved Oak Leaf Walking Cane with Scrimshaw Artwork
  3. Amazing Grace Music Notes Carved Cane
  4. A Lady’s Elegant Red Long-Stem Rose Carved Cane
  5. Prairie Fire Hand-Carved Hiking Thumb Sticks
  6. A Folk-Art Carved Albatross Head & Snake Walnut Cane
  7. Carved Folk-Art Walking Cane; 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' Story Stick with Scrimshaw Artwork
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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
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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
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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
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Fancy Dress Style Canes
  1. Coiled Ribbon Twisted Spalted White Oak with Walnut Handle
  2. Polished Black Steer Horn Upright Walking Stick
  3. Mexican Bocote Wood, Elk Antler Handle with Hand-Wrought Fine Silver End Caps
  4. Fancy Walking Cane, Camphor Burl, Maple, Bubinga, Whitetail Deer Antler, Inlays & Silver End Caps
  5. Custom Dress-Up Walking Cane, Walnut shaft with a Camphor Burl Handle
  6. Walnut & Buffalo Horn Twisted Cane
  7. White Birch & Buffalo Horn Twisted Cane
  8. Walnut Bamboo-Style Cane with Chrome Ball Top
  9. Walnut & Buffalo Horn Dress Cane
  10. Bird's Eye Maple Cane
  11. Spalted Sycamore Walking Cane
  12. Walnut Tall Knob Top Opera Cane
  13. Zebrawood & Walnut Knob Top Opera Cane
  14. Dress Cane Set, with several Material Options Shown
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What is Scrimshaw Artwork?:
A Scrimshaw Art Journey: What it is & How to Do it; Five Simple Steps to Success
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Click here to go to My Website page with Walking Canes

I 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.”

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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.

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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

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(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





7 comments so far

View darryl's profile

darryl

1792 posts in 2984 days


#1 posted 07-15-2008 04:58 AM

this truly is an amazing piece of work.
thanks for sharing it with us Mark.

View trifern's profile

trifern

8132 posts in 2424 days


#2 posted 07-15-2008 05:30 AM

Great story. Great cane. Great evangelism tool. Thanks for sharing.

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

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2957 days


#3 posted 07-15-2008 05:44 AM

Very nice Mark!

You must have spent as much time planning this as carving it.

I especially like your scrimshaw, you have some great talent there.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Bigbuck's profile

Bigbuck

1347 posts in 2321 days


#4 posted 07-15-2008 06:23 AM

Very nice, that is awsome.

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View Christopher's profile

Christopher

573 posts in 2577 days


#5 posted 07-15-2008 08:31 AM

Very cool as usual Mark!

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2972 days


#6 posted 07-15-2008 06:00 PM

...and the love shows in your work…

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1275 posts in 2431 days


#7 posted 07-16-2008 02:59 AM

Now thats a cane! Nice work Mark.

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

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