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Sticks

 
 
 
 
While walking in the New Forest with my dogs, Kizzy proudly brought me a beautiful antler which had just been shed.  The following day, she found the other one of the pair. 
 
 
 
This prompted me to have a go at making an antler handled walking stick. 
I soon realised that this was not as simple as it looked;  but with the help of Alf Abbott (a stickmaker of high standing)  I made
my first stick! 
 
I'm a great believer in learning by mistakes and by
'doing'  and since then I have made a variety of sticks - each of them unique - decorated with pyrography or with different inserts in the coronet of the antler.  I take much time and care over each stick, so that they are all made to what I consider to be a high standard.
 
 
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2 Roe-deer-antler-pyrographed-sticks -
 
Unique Sticks
 
I'm not a fan of resin embedding items in the coronet of an antler - they can look attractive, but I prefer to use more natural materials. 
I look for unique items to set in the coronet - eg. a piece of Tigers eye stone, brass charms,  old 'Jenny wren' farthings,  shells and any other trinkets that I come across. 
 
 
 
 
I made this stick for an ex. Sandle Manor School parent, whose children I taught about 30 years ago!
She had seen a stick I'd made with one of my father's Army brass buttons inset -
her husband was in the Navy, so she asked me to inset one of his old uniform brass buttons.
 
She gave me 6 pairs of Fallow Deer antlers found in woodland near her home in the New Forest, which were enthusiastically received!
 
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          Email: gill@wood-workouts.co.uk
 
Telephone: 01425 654929
 
 
 
 
 My youngest assistant - shredder of
unwanted offcuts
 
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3 new sticks, Buffalo-horn market stick - £45,
Ramshorn-market stick - £60,
& Antler-coronet with inset 'Tiger's eye'.  £34
 
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Buffalo  Horn
 
Buffalo horn is lovely when finished, but does take a lot of work.  You need to work it with several grades of sand paper, and finish with fine wire wool.  There are no short cuts as it shows every tiny scratch!
I use a buffing wheel to produce a lovely shiny finish.
 
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Finishing
 
Varnish seems to be  popular with a lot of stickmakers, but I prefer to use oil to keep the natural feel of the wood.
I've found that several coats of Ronseal hardwood furniture oil gives the shank a soft sheen, while protecting and nourishing the wood.
 
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I have been using the same Gill Thompson walking stick for over 5 years. As you can see, as well as accompanying me to the top of the highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales, it has given me much reliable and trusty pleasure as I walk in the New Forest. I cannot recommend them highly enough – they are lovingly and beautifully crafted – they really do become your friend.

Jeremy Fairfield



We bought one of your walking sticks for a relative's birthday. Can vouch they are very special and the owner says not only is it useful but gives them joy to look at. Well done Gill. We will spread the word!

Josie Clark

 
A selection of my handcrafted walking-sticks made from deer-antler-&-buffalo horn on hazel, holly and fruit wood-shanks.
 
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 Stick shanks.
 
 My favourite wood to use for shanks is Holly.  It has to be seasoned properly with the bark left on, as it does tend to split.  The bark is not very attractive when seasoned and scraping it off is hard work, but worth it when you get to the lovely creamy/white wood underneath. 
It's also excellent for pyrography.
 

Variety of sticks made from - hazel - apple - blackthorn - holly - fallow - roe deer antler - buffalo horn - bone.

 

 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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