|Forum topic by Stephen||posted 2756 days ago||29695 views||0 times favorited||23 replies|
2756 days ago
My wife and I both have walking sticks (see “stupid stick” story below!) which have neat faces carved in them. We purchased them a few years ago from the Big Meadow gift shop/general store in the Shenandoah National Park. I’d like to try my hand at chip carving and see if I too can create such a spirit in a piece of wood.
I’ve browsed a number of websites that profess to have the best whittling/carving tools/knives, and the best prices, but this past weekend we visited the Sunset Mountain Craft Festival at the acclaimed Grovewood Gallery (Grove Park Inn – Asheville, NC) and talked to two (of many) carvers, that are clearly minimalists as far as tools for their craft go. One guy (literally) used a box cutter, and the other a pocketknife with a chip blade and a detail blade . . . 19 bucks from Woodcraft.com.
Value in all things is important . . . so . . . what does one “really” need in the way of tools/knives, how much should it cost, and are there brand names I should consider?
Stupid Stick Story . . .
My wife, Patrice, and I use to enjoy short vacations and long weekends away from our business and the hustle that is life around Washington DC. Our destination of choice were the Apalachian/Smoky Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. Of course, now we live smack in the middle of them . . .
One of our favorite destinations was Shenandoah National Park with its plethora of waterfalls, and the night-time rhapsody of bears in the trash cans, and not to forget, the relative comfort of “gaget” camping.
One day we were going to hike to a remote, hard toget to waterfall, but before we left, much to her chagrin, I bought a walking stick with, why not, a face carved upon it. She instantly dubbed it a “stupid” stick, and berated it me for making the purchase, accusing me of being a wimp, etc. As I had walked what seemed at the time, the entire width and breadth of Southeast Asia in my youth, and understood the value of such things, I would not be deterred from my purchase, or it’s use! Later in the day, about half way back to the trail head, all up hill, she tugged my sleeve and asked if she could use my walking stick. To which I replied with much ire, “You mean this old “stupid” stick?” We both laughed, and on the way back to our camp site, we stopped at Big Meadow where she bought her own “stupid” stick and we both shared an ice cream. The ice cream is gone, but for the “stupid” sticks, we still have and use them often . . .
-- Stephen (A) Western North Carolina