Painted Flowers and Vines Hiking Staff

While it took a fair amount of time, patience, and a steady hand to make this staff I enjoyed working on it and am pleased with the final result. Red and orange flowers are joined by a leafy vine wrapped around the body of the staff. It’s a 60″ piece of maple wood with a faux ladybug attached near the top. The images were wood burned onto the staff and the colors come from paint pens which give better control than a typical brush. I then used a spray on acrylic sealer to keep the paint from smearing and wearing off as well protecting the wood from weathering. I also used boiled linseed oil for an extra layer of protection which had the added benefit of giving the piece a subtle shine.


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Natural Beaver Chew Elemental Staff

This is a shorter staff, perhaps more accurately a cane, and is made from a piece of beaver chew wood that’s 47.5” long, or just a half inch under 4 feet. The tips were shaped by beavers and their tooth marks can still be seen along its length. The top features a compass star above an astrolabe to symbolize guidance and direction. Below those are two turquoise beads threaded with rawhide and accented by vibrant strands of colored yarn symbolizing the intertwining of the four elemental forces: blue for water; green for earth; orange for fire, and light purple for air. Further down are a leaf, gusts of wind, a rain drop, and a flame, which are also meant to be representations of the four elemental forces. Opposite the compass star and astrolabe are a sun and crescent moon. Underneath those are a circle containing a river and pyramid and below that a star, the four symbolize the Sun, Moon, Earth and stars. The images are all wood burned then colored with paint pens. Acrylic sealer was used to keep the paint from smudging and to protect the wood from weathering as well as boiled linseed oil for the same purpose.


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Painted Viking Serpent Diamond Willow Staff

I’m tempted to say this staff is cursed. From the beginning nothing went the way I intended it and the final product turned out completely different from what I’d originally envisioned. Something would go wrong and I’d be forced to redo something else, or change the direction to compensate. Overall it still came out looking alright, just not its original intended look. And although I’m happy with the final outcome I’m more relieved that it’s finally done. It took a lot of hours to complete and even more to fine tune it and fix mistakes.


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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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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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