creating and choosing a staff?

Post and discuss your recipes, techniques for creating useful and decorative items. Show off your hints and tricks. Let us see your work.
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Will-oh
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creating and choosing a staff?

Postby Will-oh » 27 Aug 2011, 21:27

:hiya: my-selves is new to DRuidry. I have chosen and been granted a hazel staff....how would you cut, take away or leave on bark(thou my-selfs has already stripped n placed in magickal storage? same goes for an oak-would u leave on bark or take away? help please? opinions my-selfs is new to much earth magick but is quite aware of much shamanick wisdom....lalalaaaaaaaa

Much love and grand blessinz, Will-oh

p.s.-mostly i choose my tools new moon harvest times x

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Neumaisse
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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby Neumaisse » 27 Aug 2011, 21:59

Hi Will-oh! I personally would opt for removing the bark, simply from the standpoint of comfort. Alot of folks use their staves as walking/hiking sticks as well, and the bark can be really rough and uncomfortable on your palms. Another option, if you'd like to keep the bark on would be to strip it away just in the place where your hand will usually rest.

Another thing to think about is that stripping, smoothing and polishing a staff is a great meditational activity, and can bring great focus and concentration of your thoughts. It's a great activity for over the winter. :D Best of luck. You should post some pics when you get it all done! :tiphat:

Blessings,
Becky

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Will-oh
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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby Will-oh » 28 Aug 2011, 14:34

many thanks n blessinz x Will-oh x

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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby White Star » 28 Aug 2011, 21:12

Hi,
My own staff is made from Silver Birch wood. I found it lying across the path in woods near our home. After stripping the bark both my mrs and I could see the face of the Horned God in the wood. I am a bit arty and so with some deft strokes from my pyrography tool fashioned the face and antlers of Cernnunos on the wood. I then added some symbols personal to me, a rune and a pentagram on the shaft. Then I varnished the staff with a clear varnish, added a rubber ferule to the base to finish it. I use my staff for ritual and as a really good walking stick too. Depending on the time of year I decorate it with ribbons, mistletoe or flowers, I think I have a very happy staff, lol :D

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LoneWalker
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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby LoneWalker » 28 Aug 2011, 21:31

Idiot question probably but what's a pyrography tool White Star?

Personally I would probably leave the bark on a hazel staff but as Neumaisse says sand and polish areas you're going to hold, unless you're prepared to suffer until it wears smooth with use?

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Will-oh
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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby Will-oh » 29 Aug 2011, 11:01

yeah was looking at pyrography tools on ebay other day, but then thought of soldering iron....definitely gonna get a pyrography set....infinite thanx n blessinz :D

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Will-oh
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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby Will-oh » 29 Aug 2011, 11:02

nice 1 white star! xxx

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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby mark the compost elf » 29 Aug 2011, 18:53

I merely use a knife and a wood file, sit with the staff and begin - it will tell you how to release it's best. Follow its spirit on a meditative journey if you are lacking inspiration, shamanic style.
From decay comes growth, fungal or otherwise. All stages of death are filled with life and life to be. Creation is made up of ugly beauty that is gorgeous to those who can feel as well as they can see.

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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby Crimson Stormfire » 30 Aug 2011, 01:49

my staff actually chose me.....
I believe its an ash, at least thats what a native american shaman told when she danced with it.....
anyway...
my wife and i were at a local ren-fair here in the states and i had been on my quest determin to find a staff{dragon} but after months of searching the local forests i had subsided to waiting and rethinking my efforts almost on the verge of giving up for the time being to revisit later.....i happened into a booth that was selling staffs. i looked at the curvey ones, i looked at the bamboo ones, i looked at the cheap ones, etc then i found a lovely rack of black staffs, {obviously stained but hey}, One in particular captured my fancy and when i held her she felt so good i almost swooned for the power in her, even asleep was good... i looked at her price tag and i thought to myself "next year, next year if your here i would have you." i placed back into her holder on the rack secure so it wouldnt fall and knock down the others. my wife came to me and asked did you see one you liked? yes. but shes expensive. which one? she asked about that time all the staffs fell over with a clatter and the one i held moments before rolled five feet towrds us and away from the others...my wife said pick her up and take her to the counter i will get these put away. a few days later the spirit in the wood introduced herself shyly giving only a name and a feeling....."shiver is her name and the feeling was a firey cold {if that makes sense to you} my native american shaman friend after dancing with her and connecting said that shiver told her to tell me that "when she is not a dragon she is a wolf and i am to walk with her on my path"

and thats the story of shiver and crimson.....
so sometimes you dont choose your staff your staff chooses you....

also, i have engraved {tattooed} her pics posted below, i used a woodburner and royal blue paint. when the light shines on her just right you cant see the markings, when the light hits just right the markings seem to glow brightly...one pic is by a door to show her height.
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Neumaisse
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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby Neumaisse » 01 Sep 2011, 20:29

Ohhhhh. Thats a stunner! Beautiful! 7

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Crimson Stormfire
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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby Crimson Stormfire » 02 Sep 2011, 03:50

thank ya and shiver thanx ya. :grin:

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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby anemone » 03 Sep 2011, 15:56

Nice to read the stories here. And see the pictures :) I really can imagine that the right stick/staff you will recognize promptly.

For myself I can't tell when, could take years, but I will find a stick one day. For me it has to do all with walking, like a guide through your life and sometimes simply for support feeling a bit steadier.


Greetings, Moira
:rose: Warm greetings from Moira

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and let the clouds go sailing by."

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Will-oh
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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby Will-oh » 10 Sep 2011, 17:21

thanks to all...i have a wonderful oak stave which is still been created...will post pix when finished...

love n blessings t all x

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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby MPutnam » 02 Jun 2012, 08:03

I hate to see such a wonderful thread die, thus I would like to talk about my own staff. I found him on the edge of the woods behind my wife's (girlfriend at the time) apartment. Those woods have been good to me over the years and this was just the beginning. I found him laying next to a tree (Florida Ash I believe) that had been cut down and was blocking my path. Being a woodworker I immediately picked this limb up and started to carry it home when it just struck me that I had found my staff. I cleaned him up a bit, stripped his bark and knocked off the smaller twigs and such and then I carved a low relief of a ram-horned snake on the top. Over the last two years of carrying this staff ornaments have been added and lost so that now he wears a rattle of deer toes (taken from a doe that had been struck by a car), a feather that I found on a trip with my wife, a larger rattle of walnut husks and a bit of seal fur that my grandfather brought back from his time serving in Japan during WWII. My staff (which I have nicknamed my "Shaman Stick" or my "Rafiki Stick") has traveled all over the state I live in and is largely used for hiking; however it does serve a ritual purpose especially the rattles which I often use for protection from negative energy.
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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby Scatterbat » 12 Aug 2014, 19:53

I had a staff made out of Ash which was felled whilst some volunteers were clearing the woods a few miles from my home. I carved an owl into the top of it. Trouble is I found the staff to thin and uncomfortable to use in public or just out for a walk. It eventually got cut down as a useful walking stick. Sits comfortably in the hand although I have a habit or using poor old owls head to scratch my itchy palms whilst walking :grin:

Nearly lost her several times, one to some children who wandered off with her, and another time in a local wood whilst out photographing fungi. I just could not leave her there and spent the next few hours looking for her. I know she came from this wood originally some 10 years earlier but she is such a good friend I just could not easily part with her. My mate could not see what all the fuss was about, until he lost his old stick a few weeks later.We then spent the next few hours looking for that one :-) .
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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby Dyfn » 20 Nov 2015, 01:48

I've made several walking sticks and staves for friends and for various purposes. I will sometimes shave off the outer bark -- frequently the inner bark of trees make subtle and beautiful patterns. For serious hiking sticks, I usually leave the outer bark near the grip to keep from slipping, and shave away some or all of the bark elsewhere.

The one I use when in a bardic frame of mind is a hickory which drew my eye while I trapsed through my parent's woods. I laid it up for a year, then thinned the bark on the lower half and sanded all up and down. Rounded the large knob at the top (it is definitely top-heavy). Next, I used chisels and knives to cut a spiral track through the bark. Used a wood burner to letter the following:

In rocky earth, I sank my roots,
raised up my limbs, reached for the sky,
til sundered from stump, and shaped by patient
hands and cunning, in craftwork of elements:
Seasoned in air, smoothed by earth,
with fire written, in water sealed.
Bata Mór I'm named, knocker of heads,
I brace my friend, and bloody his foes.

To protect it, I put on a coat of Danish oil and let it cure for 2 days (it penetrates deeply, but dries slowly) and then a couple of coats of a wiping varnish (hard and protective). I've tried several finishes, and have regretted experimenting with boiled linseed, and pure tung oil wasn't what I'd hoped for.

I completely understand wanting to only take dead wood. Most of my staves are cut living (often in the dormant season), so that they will be strong and sturdy.
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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby Jgmuzz79 » 22 Aug 2016, 00:59

:old: I am currently working on my staff as well. I removed the bark because I chose to do some wood burning and carving. I chose a branch from a fallen maple very easy to work with and will dry out to be very strong.

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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby Heddwen » 22 Aug 2016, 11:25

:old: I am currently working on my staff as well. I removed the bark because I chose to do some wood burning and carving. I chose a branch from a fallen maple very easy to work with and will dry out to be very strong.

Hey there and welcome here :hiya: I would love to see the finished article, maybe you could post a picture?

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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby Silver The SpiritWolf » 24 Sep 2016, 00:23

This may sound like a stupid question, but does anyone know of using driftwood as a staff/walking stick? I am set to move to the coast soon and the apartment I am applying for it half a block from beach access. This particular beach has a ton of driftwood. Would one be useable as a staff? Thanks for any and all input.
~Silver

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Re: creating and choosing a staff?

Postby Dyfn » 24 Sep 2016, 00:54

This may sound like a stupid question, but does anyone know of using driftwood as a staff/walking stick? I am set to move to the coast soon and the apartment I am applying for it half a block from beach access. This particular beach has a ton of driftwood. Would one be useable as a staff? Thanks for any and all input.
Absolutely no reason not to. Depends on your needs for it, your inclination and the particular stick.
“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” -- Aldo Leopold


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