Bird Feathers Hiking Stick

Measuring only 49” or 4’1” this piece falls more into the cane or walking sticking category. The wood I’ve had for a while and can’t recall its origin, but it’s sturdy and is probably a local hardwood. It’s smooth to the touch and has been adorned with various bird feather patterns and a series of small bird tracks made with various paint pens. Near the top are a few strips of tan rawhide where several small eagle charms are affixed along with a blue jay feather weighted down with a dark turquoise bead.  I sprayed with an acrylic sealer to keep the paint from running and for overall preservation and protection from weathering. Because the acrylic seal is so thin I tried an experiment and polished it off with some boiled linseed oil as an extra measure and it came out surprisingly well. However, in the interest of full disclosure, during the process, as sometimes happens with these projects, some linseed oil got onto the rawhide leather strips. It darkened them nicely, but is generally not supposed to be applied to leather as it can cause problems like stiffening down the road. However, stiffening, shouldn’t be a problem since the leather serves no functional operation and furthermore most of what I read said a single application shouldn’t be too problematic anyway, it’s with repeated applications that issues tend to arise.

 

Artist: J.R. Goslant

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Natural Spiral Knot Walking Cane

Sometimes I find a piece of wood that I try to work as little as possible – usually for wands since I come across small interestingly shaped pieces than larger ones. If memory serves, which it might not, this was cut from the small patch of woods growing (mostly maple) near my house where some sort of vine grew along the small tree creating the nice spiral. I stripped away the bark then sanded it and after deciding to leave it as is applied some boiled linseed oil. It is on the smaller side measuring 50” or 4’2” making more of a cane or walking stick than a staff.

Artist: J.R. Goslant

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Chi Rho Templar Staff

The idea behind this piece is if a Templar Knight retired and tended to a farm this would be the staff he used. The top has a subtle natural spiral that I wanted to leave intact and to possibly serve as the hand grip (depending on your height and preference). Below the spiral I wood burned the “chi rho” and ichthys symbols, on the reverse I wood burned a Templar cross. Below those are “alpha” and “omega” followed by “INRI” and “IHS” and a runic script which reads “Milites Christi” on the respective sides. There’s also a strand of leather rawhide with a rune charm I found and thought would be fitting: “Nyd,” meaning “endurance, survival, and destiny. I then used a spray acrylic sealer and boiled linseed oil to preserve and protect the wood. Some of the oil also got onto the rawhide and darkened it slightly, but came out looking better. Boiled linseed oil isn’t typically supposed to be used on rawhide, but shouldn’t cause any problems for a static piece on a staff. It has a slight bend to it and measures 58″ tall.

 

Artist: J.R. Goslant

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Pyrite Petroglyph Staff

A more modest petroglyph staff with symbols found in rock carvings from around the world: some symbols like the spiral are fairly universal, but a good number of these are found in the Southwestern areas of the US. The meaning of many petroglyphs remain obscure to this day, some claim they depict shamanic rituals while others say they show evidence of ancient astronauts. The symbols here were created with various paint pens. A piece of pyrite bordered by black rawhide crowns the top of the staff and then the entire 4’8“ piece was given a few coatings of acrylic sealer to protect the paint from running and from overall weathering.

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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“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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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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