A Naturally Twisted Walking Cane with Scrimshaw Art on Elephant Ivory of a Black Labrador Dog

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 12-18-2006 11:23 PM 14983 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This cane has been ”SOLD”.

Welcome Web Surfers:
If you are surfing looking for a special walking cane on the internet, go toward the bottom of this posting where you’ll find a list of canes that I have built that are ready to ship immediately. Also, there are links to several more customized canes that have already been sold to give you ideas for your own commissioned cane.

You can reach me by emailing to:
[email protected]

Or you can visit the DeCou Website

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Project Story
This was a fun walking cane to build. The shaft wood stick started life as a Kentucky grown Juniper, or Western Red Cedar tree, or Eastern Red Cedar, I just don’t know for sure.

But, what I do know is that sometime in it’s early life, a vine grew around it in a spiral climbing pattern, eventually snuffing the life out of the tree.

The customer’s mother found the poor little dead tree on a morning walk, several years after the tree died and fell over. I took this poor little stick and sanded off the gray weathered wood, repaired it’s many cracks, added a brass ferrel and rubber tip, and used a white tail antler for the handle. The handle scrimshaw artwork is a Black Labrador Dog on the rosette end, with a piece of Curvy Abalone inlayed in the back end of the handle. What remains is a hallmark of the natural beauty of trees and tribute to the work of the Vine. I buy the elephant ivory legally from the David Warther Museum.

If you would like a cane built on commission out of a special stick you have, or one of my choosing, please email me at: [email protected]

If you are a lumberjock and find a cool stick of wood that you think I might want to build a cane with, please email me, and I might be able to buy the “gem” from you.


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.”

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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 -

11 comments so far

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5256 days

#1 posted 12-21-2006 03:13 PM

Mark, you really impressed my wife with this one. Because of the Lab. We have a lab and a labadoodle, she loves them both, I called her over to look at it and told her it was drawn on ivory. She said oh my gosh won’t he get in trouble, I explained you bought it from a museum. But she loved the drawing, if it would have been a horse she would’nt have looked twice. She loved the piece though. buds, mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5324 days

#2 posted 01-13-2008 06:52 AM

That is one great stick. Your canes are always top quality.

View Karson's profile


35270 posts in 5410 days

#3 posted 01-13-2008 05:15 PM

Mark. Where has this gen been hiding. A great job and a perfect story to tell about it.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5415 days

#4 posted 01-14-2008 03:01 AM

thanks Dennis and Karson. Not hiding, just lost in the masses. This project posting library is getting crazy these days. Remember when we used to post and for about a week, our project was in the first page? Not anymore, you get a few hours. I knew the site would be popular, and it is starting to really grow some traffic. Everytime I get in the site, I find projects I can’t believe I missed, and the blogs are just way out of control!!


My walking canes have been getting a lot of google traffic for the past 60 days. I don’t know what this is from, either Christmas gift searching, or I finally was discovered by google with the walking canes. But, I have been watching all of my LJ posted walking canes just go crazy with views, and driving folks over to my website. So, for my carved face cane posting, I recently built a display stand for it, and also took some better photos of it to post tonight.

I think the carved 4-Face cane would have scored better in the judging that it has been in over the past year if it would have had a display stand to hold it up. For the judging, it just laid on the table, while other canes had stands to hold them up.

This is something I will be doing on all of the special canes that I make that I take to competitions, as well as brass name tags, which seems to be the standard nowadays for gallery items. Small things seem to make a difference in judging. The first time I showed the 4-Face Cane in a competition it took 2nd to an expertly carved replication of a project straight out of Woodcarving Illustrated, and I know that since I read the article. This cane was an original idea of mine, but the judge thought that I had glued the faces onto the staff. Next time I do a fancy cane, I will make sure it is obvious to the judges that it is all out of one block of wood. I retired the 4-Face cane from competitions, but I still take it regularly to art shows. I need to work up another one, just haven’t had the time to devote that much effort to a speculative sale lately.

This naturally twisted cane was so special because it had a special stick. The stick was too short, and a little misshapen for a good cane, so I whittled it together, matched it up with a longer bottom section, and made it impossible to tell that it had been altered. Can’t believe I’m exposing it now. The wood was a little past prime in a couple of areas, so I hardened it up with CA glue, and filled any voids with epoxy. It is a very stable cane now, and one of my favorites. I’d love to have a pickup load of sticks like this one was. I’m building two walnut Maloof-Inspired rocking chairs for the customer of this walking cane. I did a knife for them also last year. It is so cool when someone wants something again, and each time is a bigger project.

Thanks again guys, thanks for your comments.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5170 days

#5 posted 01-14-2008 11:10 PM

I thought I’d seen all the projects.. but missed this one.
Or maybe I’m just more aware of what I like now and this natural wood design definitely catches my attention!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5309 days

#6 posted 01-14-2008 11:21 PM

What a great enhancement of mother nature Mark.

After seeing it today, I remembered it, but for some reason, I guess I forgot to make a comment, so I beg your pardon.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5324 days

#7 posted 01-14-2008 11:21 PM

It is a mark of the “old” days of Lumberjocks that a project like this would only get one comment. Now days it would have gotten a lot more feed back.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5309 days

#8 posted 01-14-2008 11:31 PM

Right on Dennis, I think we were all kind of on the shy side, back then.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5415 days

#9 posted 03-11-2008 04:10 PM

Thanks Debbie, Dick, & Dennis. You are always encouraging to me.

I post these projects with the hope that prospective customers will find them in internet searches. It is much easier to post on LJ than on my own website, and the LJ site has a lot more traffic. The LJ member comments are the icing on the cake. So, if they get one, or none, or lots of comments, I am thrilled, but not dependent on it for all of my ego building. Mostly, I’m looking for “checks” to pay bills with. But, even after nearly 2 years of posting, I can only count one handful of orders that came from the internet. Word-of-mouth, art shows, & gallery stores seem to be the only ways I find any “checks”. I’m hopeful though that it will change as the years go by. Everyone else seems to be making millions on their dotcom business.

Thanks for your thoughtfulness,

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View dougdeg's profile


107 posts in 4779 days

#10 posted 06-13-2008 02:30 PM

Where can i get some of this twisted juniper, I would love to get some sticks or small branches
say 1” – 5” wide and 24” – 50” long, would need to get it shipped to michigan lewiston

-- Doug Cedar Log Furniture,

View dougdeg's profile


107 posts in 4779 days

#11 posted 06-15-2008 03:31 PM

I do almost all my sales on the internet, placment is the key if your site can’t be found you can’t sell.
have agreat day

-- Doug Cedar Log Furniture,

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