Three Dragons Hiking Staff

It took a lot to finally get the dragons looking how I wanted them to look. Part of me wanted to color them, but at the same time I didn’t want to wash out any of the detail from the wood burner. So I decided to keep it simpler this time.

As you can see, this staff depicts three winged dragons, one large and two smaller which were created using a wood burner. The staff stands at 62.5″ and is made of maple wood. There’s is also a coating of boiled linseed oil to protect the wood from the elements.

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Star Trek Klingon Empire Hiking Staff

I’ve always enjoyed sci-fi, but it’s only been within the last few years that I actually sat down to watch all of the various Trek shows – though I still have to watch most of the movies. Between that and the constant Trek memes appearing on my timeline I felt inspired to make a set of three themed staves.

This is the 3rd and perhaps my favorite of the three. This staff shows the icon symbolizing the Klingon Empire from Star Trek along with “Qapla” written on both sides of the staff, one in English and one in the Klingon script. The image and lettering were created with wood burning and paint pens. The staff itself is made of maple wood and stands at just shy of 53″. It has a coating of clear acrylic sealer and boiled linseed oil to protect the image and the wood.

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Star Trek Vulcan Symbol Hiking Staff

I’ve always enjoyed sci-fi, but it’s only been within the last few years that I actually sat down to watch all of the various Trek shows – though I still have to watch most of the movies. Between that and the constant Trek memes appearing on my timeline I felt inspired to make a set of three themed staves.

This staff shows the Star Trek Vulcan symbol for “Infinite Diversity In Infinite Combinations” with the motto on the opposite side. The image and lettering were created with wood burning and paint pens. The staff stands at just above 51″ and is made of sumac wood which is both lightweight and sturdy. The staff also has a coating of acrylic sealer to and boiled linseed oil to protect the image and wood respectively.

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Star Trek Federation Combadge Hiking Stick

I’ve always enjoyed sci-fi, but it’s only been within the last few years that I actually sat down to watch all of the various Trek shows – though I still have to watch most of the movies. Between that and the constant Trek memes appearing on my timeline I felt inspired to make a set of three themed staves.

This staff shows the emblematic combadge from Star Trek’s Starfleet with colored yarn displaying the colors of crew uniforms. On the opposite side quotes the famous intro line from both the original series and Next Generation “To Boldly Go.” The image and lettering were created with wood burning and paint pens. The staff itself stands at roughly 52″ tall, is made of sumac wood which is both lightweight and sturdy, and has a coating of acrylic sealer and boiled linseed oil to protect both the image and wood.

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Natural Beaver Wood Native American Hiking Staff

This is a shorter staff measuring only 49.5″ and is also another customized gift. It is a piece of beaver wood found in the Ammonoosuc river in New Hampshire. Both the top and bottom have been pointed by beavers and teeth marks are visible along the length of the staff. There are numerous Native American symbols depicted with wood burning, metallic pens, and paint pens. I hope it’s not a grievous case of cultural appropriation, I simply enjoy working with these symbols. Three turquoise beds are tied near the top of the staff. I used acrylic sealer and boiled linseed oil to protect the ink and wood respectively.


Many of the symbols have different stylizations and meanings depending on which tribe they’re from. I did my best to match each one with their respective tribes but couldn’t always find their specific origin. The dragonfly and butterfly depictions I used are not the same stylizations specific to any particular tribe, but the insects themselves are symbolic to many. And since meanings and styles differ greatly from tribe to tribe and clan to clan if I’ve written anything inaccurate I would like to know the accurate information.

Symbols and meanings present on staff:


Sun symbol, unspecified tribe: happiness

Dragonfly, Zuni: messengers of the spirit world, swiftness, activity

Turtle, Hopi, Navajo: persistence, longevity, mother Earth and in some myths saved their tribes from the Great Flood

Cut circle with eight projecting lines, unspecified tribe: Earth forces, permanent home

Kokopelli, Hopi, Zuni, fertility, spiritual and physical healing, love, and music

Thunderbird, found across North American tribes: most commonly associated with divine dominion, unlimited happiness, strength, protection, and indomitable spirit

Serpent Mound, Adena, Fort Ancient, or possibly earlier tribes, believed to mark solstices and special astronomical dates, spiritual power, and rebirth. It’s also similar to the Hopi Tokchi’i symbol which may represent the Serpent Mound, the guardian of the East which they believe was constructed by their ancestors

Crescent moon, unspecified tribe: guardian of Earth associated with femininity and grandmothers

Four pointed star, or Kachina, Pueblo Tribes: morning star, courage, and purity of spirit

Spiral, Pueblo Tribes: most commonly associated with a journey

Bear with arrow, Zuni: the arrow is called a heartline and traces the path of breath to the place of the spirit, represents and encourages strength and good health

Bear prints, unspecified tribe: good omen

Turquoise, Zuni: sky stone

Turquoise, modern generalized (likely from a distillation of ancient sources): wisdom, tranquility, protection, good fortune, and hope

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Custom Birthday Gift Hiking Staff

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.


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Custom Wedding Gift Hiking Staff

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.


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Elder Futhark Maple Hiking Staff

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.

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Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs Hiking Staff

Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs are always fun to work with, though they do require a fair amount of precision hand work. Each of the six symbols were created with a wood burner and paint pens. The first set depicts an ankh, wedja, and seneb meaning life, prosperity, and health. The second set depicts the nefer, djed, and wasir symbols meaning beauty, strength, and power. There are also three beads attached a little more than half ways up the 56″ staff. They depict King Tutankhamen’s death mask, the god Amun, and an ankh. The staff itself is made from sumac wood which is sturdy, but lightweight. I used spray on acrylic sealer to protect both the wood and paint. I also used boiled linseed oil for the same reasons and it also gives the piece a subtle luster.


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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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