This was a custom gift piece I made for a friend. The wood was found in the yard of their childhood home. Originally it was much longer, but broken into two pieces. This is the second piece and the first was turned into a siblings wedding gift. The recipient’s name and personalized symbols were wood burned into the staff. I then used acrylic spray sealer to both protect the wood and keep the paint from smudging. I also used boiled linseed oil to give it a final protective polish.
This piece was a custom wedding gift I made for a friend. The wood was found in the yard of their childhood home. Originally it was much longer, but broken into two pieces. The second piece was turned into a siblings birthday gift. It features a lot of wood burned symbolism which include the Chi Rho, and anchor, and the recipient’s initials. The circles surrounding the anchor and Chi Rho, the alpha and omega aspect of the Chi Rho, recipient’s name in hieroglyphs with surrounding cartouche, and Roman “ichthys” were done using a black paint pen. The attached beads are an owl and several American coin replicas. Gold colored aluminum wire is wrapped around the staff several places to accent the piece and leather rawhide was used for the handle grip. A sealant was also used to hold the paint and protect the wood.
I especially enjoy working with runes and the straight lines certainly make them easier to create with a handheld wood burner than some other subject matters. This staff is 57.5″ piece of maple wood and contains the elder Futhark rune set in ascending order on one side and descending order on the other. Wood burned above the one rune set is a five pointed star, or pentagram, and above the other set is a Celtic trinity knot, or triquetra. The pentagram here symbolizes fire, water, earth, air, and spirit while the triquetra symbolizes the mother-maiden-crone goddess trinity. However both symbols vary in meaning depending on their locations and cultural context. Tied to the top is a string of pyrite and skull beads. Pyrite is symbolic of luck, wealth and prosperity while also being known in mythology as a stone to induce creativity, physical health, and well being. Skulls have numerous symbolic meanings around the world and in Celtic and Norse mythology by themselves. Here they are intended to symbolize magic, creation, and transformation. And the maple wood itself is symbolically known for balance, generosity, intelligence, and longevity. I used boiled linseed oil to protect and polish the wood.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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