Walking Cane: Carved Art Cane, Smiling Wood Spirit, Walnut Shaft, Elk Antler Handle, Abalone Inlay

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 04-30-2009 11:03 PM 31941 views 1 time favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch


This cane was commissioned, and so it has been sold

Serial No. #2009-10
Height: 34”

If you would like something similar, please email me.

email: [email protected]

Canes for Sale?
If you would like to see other canes I have currently for sale, go to this link at my Etsy shop

Also, you can go toward the bottom of this posting, where I have about 60 links to other canes I’ve built in the past.

thanks for looking,
Mark DeCou


Project Story:

This cane was built for a lady in California who wants to surprise her husband with a unique cane when he gets out of foot surgery next week. She called me after seeing several other walking canes posted here on Lumberjocks.

- Black Walnut Shaft, carving of Smiling Wood Spirit
- Carving Color by thinned Acyrlic paint, handbrushed
- Finish is Satin Lacquer.
- Kansas Elk Shed Antler Handle
- Inlay of Curly Abalalone on front of handle
- Inlay of Abalone on rear of handle
- Brass Ferrule with rubber tip


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Cane Sample Slideshow: To hear Music, click the Speaker Icon


More Walking Sticks & Canes:
If you go to my Mark DeCou Website you won’t find very many canes pictured there. I do realize that I need to invest in improving my website, but until that is accomplished, here are few more of my canes posted at lumberjocks, thanks for your patience.

Handmade Finished Canes For Sale, Ready to Ship Now: Online Shop Inventory: Click Here to Visit my Cane Inventory Page

Some Cane that are Unsold:
  1. Folk-Art Carved Wood Spirit Hiking Stick, Serial N0. 2009-06
  2. Folk-Art Carved Pirate Face Cane -Serial No. 2005-16
  3. Folk-Art Carved Mountain Man Face Cane -Serial No. 2006-03
  4. Fancy Barley Twisted Ebonized Oak & Elk Antler Cane, Serial No. 2009-05
  5. Rustic Natural Walking Stick, Nanny McPhee Movie Inspired, Serial No. 2009-07
  6. Fancy Dress Cane, Curly Ambrosia Maple Handle with Black Spiral Shaft, Serial No. 2008-21
  7. Fancy Dress Cane, Walnut Bamboo Inspired Shaft, Buffalo Horn Laminated Handle, Serial No. 2008-23
  8. Scrimshaw Artwork Walnut Cane -Serial No. 2008-08
  9. Red Oak/Black Lacquered Twisted Cane -Serial No. 2008-14
  10. Red Oak Barley Twist Walking Cane -Serial No. 2008-15
  11. Walnut Ball-Top Dress Cane -Serial No. 2008-06
  12. Walnut Cane with Chrome Ball Knob -Serial No. 2008-20
  13. Carved Thumbstick Hiking Sticks with Composite Malachite -Serial No. 2008-24


Folk Art & Pop-Art Carved Canes
  1. Bishop’s Carved Walnut Crosier
  2. Nascar’s Jimmie Johnson Themed Walking Cane
  3. Carved Oak Leaf Walking Stick
  4. Folk-Art Smiling Wood Spirit Face Cane w/ Elk Antler Handle
  5. Folk-Art Carved Wood Spirit Hiking Stick
  6. Folk-Art Pirate Carved Face Cane w/ Deer Antler Handle
  7. Cartoon Character Taz, Folk Art One-of-a-kind Art Cane
  8. Sculpted Wood Spirit Face Cane
  9. Folk-Art Wood Spirit Cane w/ Elk Antler Handle & Scrimshaw
  10. Folk Art Mountain Man Face Cane
  11. Shamrock Wood Spirit Irish-Theme Face Cane
  12. Walnut Wood Spirit Face Cane with Antler & Turquoise
  13. Collection of Face Carved Canes
  14. Moses-Inspired Face Carved Cane w/ Antler & Turquoise
  15. Shepherd's Stick, Carved Border Collie Welsh-Style Dog Show Trial Stick
  16. Carved Oak Leaf Walking Cane with Scrimshaw Artwork
  17. Amazing Grace Music Notes Carved Cane
  18. A Lady’s Elegant Red Long-Stem Rose Carved Cane
  19. Prairie Fire Hand-Carved Hiking Thumb Sticks
  20. A Folk-Art Carved Albatross Head & Snake Walnut Cane
  21. Carved Folk-Art Walking Cane; 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' Story Stick with Scrimshaw Artwork-
Native American Indian Theme Folk-Art Canes
  1. Apache Chief Geronimo Folk-Art Face Cane
  2. Folk Art Native American Face Cane Set
  3. Apache Chief Cochise Folk-Art Face Cane
  4. Folk Art Carved Cane of Shoshone Chief
  5. Indian Guides Chief Big-Red-Cloud Hiking Stick
  6. Apache Chief Cochise #2 Folk-Art Face Cane
Scrimshaw Artwork Canes
  1. Scrimshaw Art Trophy Buck Deer Head
  2. Scrimshaw Art Walking Cane: Praying Mantis Insect
  3. Scrimshaw Art Walking Cane: Floppy Eared Bunny Face & Walnut Barley Twist
  4. Big & Tall Barley Twisted Oak with Scrimshawn Handle
  5. Walnut & Curly Maple Cane with Scrimshaw
  6. Scrimshaw Art Walnut Cane
  7. Fancy Barley Twist with Scrimshaw Cane
  8. Lady's Dress Cane, Red Oak, Walnut, Black Lacquer, & Scrimshaw Artwork of a Purple Cone Flower
Natural Sapling/Limb Canes/Sticks
  1. Folk-Art Carved Wood Spirit Hiking Stick
  2. Nanny McPhee Movie-Inspired Crooked Walking Stick
  3. Naturally Twisted Tree Sapling Cane
  4. Naturally Twisted Tree Sapling Walking Stick
  5. Shepherd's Crook Hiking Stick
  6. Black Locust Tree Sapling Walking Stick
  7. Red BirchTree Sapling Hiking Stick
Fancy Barley-Twist Style Dress Canes
  1. Fancy Barley Twisted Ebonized Oak & Elk Antler Cane, Serial No. 2009-05
  2. Big & Tall Walnut & Maple Barley Twist Custom Cane
  3. Big & Tall Red Oak and Antler with Scrimshaw Monogram
  4. White Oak Barley Twist Cane
  5. Osage Orange Barley Twist Cane
  6. Walnut & Figured Maple Barley Twist cane
  7. Black Walnut and Spalted Sycamore Barley Twist
  8. Red Oak Barley Twist with Black Lacquer
  9. Red Oak Barley Twist with Walnut Handle
  10. Dress Cane, Oak Barley Twist with Walnut Ring
  11. Bryan's Cane, The Start of my Cane Journey
Fancy Dress Style Canes
  1. Pink Ivory and Elk Antler Dress Walking Stick
  2. Coiled Ribbon Twisted Spalted White Oak with Walnut Handle
  3. Polished Black Steer Horn Upright Walking Stick
  4. Mexican Bocote Wood, Elk Antler Handle with Hand-Wrought Fine Silver End Caps
  5. Fancy Walking Cane, Camphor Burl, Maple, Bubinga, Whitetail Deer Antler, Inlays & Silver End Caps
  6. Custom Dress-Up Walking Cane, Walnut shaft with a Camphor Burl Handle
  7. Walnut & Buffalo Horn Twisted Cane
  8. White Birch & Buffalo Horn Twisted Cane
  9. Walnut Bamboo-Style Cane with Chrome Ball Top
  10. Walnut & Buffalo Horn Dress Cane
  11. Bird's Eye Maple Cane
  12. Spalted Sycamore Walking Cane
  13. Walnut Tall Knob Top Opera Cane
  14. Zebrawood & Walnut Knob Top Opera Cane
  15. Dress Cane Set, with several Material Options Shown

What is Scrimshaw Artwork?:
A Scrimshaw Art Journey: What it is & How to Do it; Five Simple Steps to Success
Click here to go to My Website page with Walking Canes

I usually have a few canes in stock at:
  1. Hatman Jack’s Wichita Hat Works in Wichita, Kansas
  2. Hutchinson Art Center in Hutchinson, Kansas
  3. Prairie Past Times Antiques & Crafts in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas

You can contact these gallery stores directly and see what they still have in stock. They will ship to you if you buy something. If you prefer, you can also email me, as I keep fairly current on what is “unsold.”

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Background: My Cane Making Story:

I enjoy sculpting walking canes. Some folks call them Folk-Art Canes, while others call them Artisan Canes, some call them Carved Canes, while others call them Walking Sticks. There is quite a bit of argument about whether something should be called Sculpture or Carving. They could be considered Functional-Art, which is the type of work that I am usually drawn to. No matter what these canes are called, they seem to bring joy to the owners, and I have been asked to make quite a few of them in the past 5-6 years.

I started making canes on the request of a nice married couple I met on a church-building short-term mission trip to Mexico City in the early 1990’s. Several years after our trip, their son-in-law was diagnosed with bone cancer, and so they wanted to get him a specially made cane that he would enjoy using. They had heard from others that I had quit my corporate office job and started doing woodworking full-time. So, they contacted me to make his cane.

Click for details

Sadly, I also built him a casket, another first for me, about a year later

Click for details

Since the time I did that first Cane for Bryan, I have enjoyed the work on the canes that I have been able to make, but more importantly, the people that I have been able to meet and help along the journey. I do make a bunch of unique items and furniture, but without a doubt, I receive more correspondence and thank-you cards from cane customers than any of the other items I make, combined. So, they are fun for me to build, and I look forward to each new person and situation.

To keep a handle on all of the memories, I engrave a small serial number on each brass cane tip, and then I keep a detailed database log of each cane, customer, and situation. The list always brings me warm memories each time I scan it and remember the folks that have supported my work over the years, and vice versa.


Still Want to See more of my work?

Start with each of these links, and they will take you to other organized lists of my other niche products:

  1. Custom Knives
  2. Custom Art-Furniture I've Built
  3. Artisan Hat Making Tools


(This text, all photos, project design, are protected by copyright 2007-2009, M.A.DeCou, all rights reserved and protected, ask permission first! Weblinks to this page are permitted)

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

16 comments so far

View Alan's profile


443 posts in 4413 days

#1 posted 04-30-2009 11:12 PM

Another great one Mark. I love your work, thanks for posting it.

-- Alan, Prince George

View savannah505's profile


1868 posts in 4595 days

#2 posted 04-30-2009 11:13 PM

Very nice piece, he has a lot of character.

-- Dan Wiggins

View jroot's profile


295 posts in 2232 days

#3 posted 05-01-2009 12:05 AM

Very attractive. Hey, you could do carvings of the person to whom the cane would be given. That would be neat. :)

I can see that the cane is turned on a lathe. How did you adhere the carving material? ... if you don’t mind giving away a secret. ;)

-- jroot

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5415 days

#4 posted 05-01-2009 12:11 AM

no secrets Jroot. I start with a 2” x 2” x 40” stick of wood, and remove everything that doesn’t look like a cane. Carving, lots of sanding, and lathe work to turn the tenons for the handle and tip.

It is all one piece, no glued on pieces.

I just carve what people ask for.


-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)


20257 posts in 4685 days

#5 posted 05-01-2009 12:47 AM

Great work. Guess I’ll have to check out some of your links.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2824 posts in 4599 days

#6 posted 05-01-2009 02:14 AM

another nice one. Thanks for sharing

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 5336 days

#7 posted 05-01-2009 04:09 AM

another fantastic piece!
you truly do inspire me to try incorporating scrimshaw and carving into my work… someday!

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 4783 days

#8 posted 05-01-2009 05:40 AM

Very nice looking cane Mark! The abalone shell really dresses up the handle. I am sure the customer well be pleased.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4997 days

#9 posted 05-01-2009 05:51 AM

Another work of art!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View mtnwild's profile


3717 posts in 4536 days

#10 posted 05-01-2009 06:59 PM

Beautiful. I just was carving on a cane for the first time and It’s a simple carving. Been working it for a few weeks now. LOL I appreciate your skill at making things look easy. Super!

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5415 days

#11 posted 05-01-2009 07:08 PM

thanks. I wasn’t trying to make it look easy, really. Ha.

They do get easier each time, but I always run into a “brick wall” where I think I just messed up, and should start over. I try and push through that phase, and come out the other side. Carving something like this isn’t like molding clay, once the wood is gone, it’s gone, and since it is a cane, I have to concern myself with the function, holding up a person who has trouble walking. Just adds to the stress. Believe me, I’m relieved when each one comes together and is finished.


-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View mtnwild's profile


3717 posts in 4536 days

#12 posted 05-01-2009 11:29 PM

I said you make it look easy for you to do, that’s what a master does. I love showing a finished project, that I exploded my shop over, as some refined thing I did. LOL Jekly and Hyde anyone?

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View bigpops0259's profile


323 posts in 5159 days

#13 posted 05-02-2009 03:05 PM

Mark, you never fail to amaze me. I wish I could carve half as well as you. Your work Truly inspires me to try.

-- Marty Ohio

View scott shangraw's profile

scott shangraw

514 posts in 5078 days

#14 posted 05-03-2009 03:03 PM

Mark another great one.I like how you do the extra touch and make a custom holder for these,Stay Busy !!!

-- Scott NM,

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4586 days

#15 posted 05-04-2009 05:12 AM

Way to go mark its great.


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