Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"Sumac Cane"

I have sold or given away most of my stockpile of canes, so I’ve started working on some just to have something to take on walks! This is a piece of sumac a friend gave me. It is a light-weight wood, with a shallow root that grows to the side, making a handle for a cane. The bark peeled easily when it was green, but I was glad I wore nitrile gloves to keep the sap off my hands. I kept it in a plastic bag between carving sessions, and gradually let it dry out for about a month. No cracks so far! I like twisty sticks that have been shaped by vines, and i decided to do a spiral pattern on the handle that somewhat imitates those sticks. I carved a scale pattern below that, mainly for practice, but it provides a good grip and looks good. Then I did a freehand styilized leaf pattern below that. The sumac was really nice to carve and was a nice white color, but I didn’t want something quite that white….so I used a thin wash of gray acrylic paint to give it a weathered, silver color and used the same wash to darken some of the shadows. Thanks for looking!

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