Monday, 5 August 2013

Carving a thumbstick on the beach using ad-hoc tools

PorlockWhilst enjoying a recent scrabble across the beach in Somerset, I made this walking stick to help me traverse a clay-infested stone-riddled stream in a marshland/beach periphery.

It was carved from a dead shrub stump cast up as driftwood on the beach. The head of it is the knot-end where a branch met the base of the stump.

The stick was cut off using the trusty swiss army knife, then a smoothed-off head carved so that one side was rounded to fit comfortably in the palm, and with a thumb rest on the opposing side.

Excuse the picture, the ambient light confused my panorama view. Also it really doesn't look that phallic in real life!

Here, the stump-end is being carved to shape. To some extent the natural curves of the knot were followed.

The shaft was stripped of bark and smoothed with the knife blade, but there's only so much you can do with a blade. Eventually you need to smooth the blade cuts and odd grain lumps down. Happily, this was easy as the whole beach was covered in rough stones of several grades of roughness and all sorts of shapes to fit the concave thumbrest face.

This stone was used as a "workbench to rest the stick on, and give stability while applying pressure... Porlock

Here's a stone being used by hand.


And here, you can see the rock workbench