Natural Beaver Chew Wand with Blue Jay Feathers

The blade and haft are a single piece of river wood and, as evidenced by the teeth marks and pointed tips, debark by beavers. I then used different colored yarn for the patterns. The black, red, yellow, and white bands were inspired by the medicine wheel found in numerous native North American cultures with each color representing one of the four the cardinal directions. Each band is bordered by smaller blue bands I intended to represent rivers, lakes, the seas and the overall importance of water. Below those is a crosshatch pattern of dark and light green, blue, and orange on a background of white meant to symbolize the interplay between earth, water, fire, and air. The blade is coated with boiled linseed oil and comes to just under 24” in length. A strand of pyrite, turquoise, and skull beads capped with found blue jay feathers is attached to the midpoint of the wand. The patterns on the haft have also been given a thin layer of acrylic sealer for some protection against weathering.

Artist: J.R. Goslant

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Vines and Flowers Magic Wand

Another experimental wand: I wanted to try out some simple wood carving and find a medium for smaller, more detailed designs and metallic pens work quite well. It’s two separate pieces of wood joined together. I also used an acrylic sealer to protect the flowers and vines from rubbing off and to preserve the wood. There’s also a terminated quartz crystal embedded in the haft and wound with colored hemp twine for added cohesion, both physical and aesthetic. And including the embedded crystal comes to just under 15” in length. It’s also lightweight in case you’re ever inclined to carry it with you someplace.

Artist: J.R. Goslant

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Dinosaur Fossil Hiking Stick 2

This is the second dinosaur fossil hiking stick that I’ve made, it’s one of my favorite styles. On this staff, going from top to bottom, are the fossil skeletons of a tyrannosaurus rex, a plesiosaur, and dilophosaurus created with a wood-burner. It stands at about 57” and has several coats of polyurethane to preserve and protect the wood.

Artist: J.R. Goslant

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Natural Wand

The wood of this wand is most likely birch, but was difficult to be certain because it’s also a “beaver chew,” also called a “beaver stick,” and has had the bark chewed off. But this process has left clear tooth marks on parts of the wand’s blade. The point of the wand was also created naturally by beavers.

Continuing with the strong natural theme of this wand I attached a quartz crystal to the bottom of the haft and used vines to help keep it secure. I also attached feathers I found, one from a blue jay, a cardinal, and a small yellow bird -probably some kind of finch. There’s a little detailing done with a wood-burner and bands of yellow, blue, and red hemp to match the colors of each feather.

It’s about 13.5” long and polished with boiled linseed oil.

Artist: J.R. Goslant

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“Wanderer” Hiking Stick

This is one of a series of projects I did with a more minimalist aesthetic. I tried some ideas I hadn’t tried before like leaving some of the bark on the wood to create a different look. The polyurethane coats enhanced the different shades on the bark making it look like chocolate and vanilla marble cake.

There’s only limited wood-burning on this staff: the diagonal lines bordering the bark hand-grip; a compass star; and the words “Not All Who Wander Are Lost.” On the opposite side is a leaf preserved and attached with polyurethane. It stars at about 61” tall and has a good weight that makes it sturdy, but still light enough to use while hiking.

Artist: J.R. Goslant

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Small Ægishjálmur and Elder Futhark Hiking Stick

This staff is about 53” tall and made from a piece of river wood, more specifically a “beaver chew,” or “beaver stick.” Beavers removed the bark from the wood by chewing it off and although the light sanding and polyurethane coats have obscured many of the toothmarks, some still remain visible.

I wood-burned the Nordic rune “Ægishjálmur” twice at the top and was meant to protect the wearer in battle. Originally I wanted to do a Nordic compass, it looks similar, but it’s a little more detailed and would have been much more difficult to do given the size of my wood-burner. Going down the staff on each side is the Elder Futhark rune set with each one representing a letter, a number, and would be used in divination.

Artist: J.R. Goslant

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Buddhist Staff

This staff stands at 55” and was one of a series of smaller projects with a more minimalist aesthetic. There’s only two symbols burned into the top, a tan, raw-hide grip, and two glass fish beads reminiscent of koi fish. The symbols are the Buddhist “Ohm” symbol and the Japanese character for “peace.”

The polyurethane was originally meant to just protect and preserve the wood, but it also really enhanced the colors of the wood creating a marble-like contrast.

Artist: J.R. Goslant

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Cthulhu Cult Staff

The Staff of Cthulhu is certainly unique both in terms of the process and final product. Despite standing at 63” tall (a little longer if you measure with the curve) it’s surprisingly lightweight. The smooth, pale wood provided an excellent canvas for the wood-burning to really pop and stand out. However, the curved nature of a staff meant I had to wrap the image I wanted. The difficulty came in trying to navigate where to put what without bumping into something else. It also required texturing and slight shading which I hadn’t done with a wood-burner yet.

But, as you can see, Cthulhu’s hands, claws, wings, and mass off tentacles all fit within the limited space. Beneath the main depiction and hand grip made of black rawhide lace, are smaller cuneiform-like symbols I used to represent the phonetics of “Ph’nglui mglw’ nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn,” as it is in the Lovecraft mythos. It of course translates to “In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.” After the pyrography was done I sanded it again and gave it several layers of polyurethane for protection and its aesthetics.

Artist: J.R. Goslant

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My Personal Egyptian Staff

During the summer, I went hiking with a few friends and realized that despite crafting and selling all sorts of staffs and hiking sticks, I had failed to make myself one. That’s when a long, thin, dry piece of pine caught my eye on the side of the trail. I broke it down to size and part of a twisted root at what would now be the top.

After I got it home, I debarked most it, shaped the root a little, and gave it a good sanding. I opted for keeping some of the bark in places because I ended up really liking the texture; I had never worked with pine before, but found it very enjoyable. The bark nearest the top wrapped with a simple pattern of black rawhide lace serves as the hand grip.

The twisted root now holds a “stone” of green glass and several marbles I f(strangely) found while hiking, or on the way to go hiking. It’s also wrapped with waxed hemp and a small amount of copper wire, both for their aesthetics – it really pulls the ornaments together as single section-  and for keeping said ornaments securely fastened to the staff. The bottom of this section is boarded by tan rawhide lace which also serves to attach a number of small charms and beads: an Egyptian scarab; a red bead depicting the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen, a double sided charm depicting Quetzalcoatl on one and the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan on the other, a ring that accompanied it, and a stragate pendant.

The pyrography displays the ancient Egyptian god of wisdom, Thoth; my name in a cartouche and hieroglyphics; and my name in cuneiform-like symbols. It stands at 65.5” tall and is coated with several layers of polyurethane.

Artist: J.R. Goslant

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Tribal Druid Shaman Staff / Runic Hiking Stick

Overall, I’d have to say I’m pleased with the finished product. I wanted to create something that aesthetically blended certain tribal, Nordic, and Greek elements together and feel like I’ve achieved that.

Burned in at the top are stars and two phases of the moon (waxing and waning crescents). Below those, is the hand grip made of mostly tan rawhide lace and bordered by black rawhide lace. After the grip is more wood-burning with the Greek zodiac symbols and Elder Futhark runic alphabet wrapped around about a third of the overall staff.

This Tribal Druid Shaman Staff is about 62” in height and has been coated with several layers of  polyurethane for protection from the elements and for its aesthetics.

Artist: J.R. Goslant

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