I became interested in woodworking while I was growing up. My grandpa had his own cabinet shop and my father installed kitchens. My dad would take us along to work sometimes on Saturdays and had wood working equipment at home that we used. I started carving a couple of animals in college after my parents got me a carving set for my birthday. Then after graduating from Millersville University, I started teaching Technology Education and the carving was put on the back burner.
My grandpa, Oliver Petersheim, got me interested in carving canes. He carved canes with whatever lumber he could find around his cabinet shop. He used chisels that he made from old wood files. He would sit on his front porch and carve canes while he watched cars drive by. Grandpa would then give the canes as gifts or donate them to charity auctions. After he passed away in 2004, I began using his chisels to carve canes the way he did. Carving these canes is a way that I can connect with and honor the memory of him. If you notice I carve 4 lines around the top of most of my canes. I do this for several reasons. First, I carve lines because grandpa used to put lines around the top of his canes. Second, I put 4 lines because that represents the year he passed away and the year I started carving canes. Last, I like the way it looks because it helps hide the transition from the cane shaft to the cane handle.
I have since retired grandpa's chisels and got a set of my own so I do not wear out his. While I still use the chisels to carve fine details and words, I power carve pretty much everything else with a Dremel.
I carve part time and I am the President of the American National Cane Club.