Custom Sculpted Folk Art Walking Cane with Spiral Twisted Carved Face Scrimshaw symbols life story

  • Advertise with us
Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 09-22-2010 05:38 PM 9052 views 3 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch


This cane was commissioned

To see other walking canes that are for sale, click here


Just the Facts:
  • Wood: Kansas Black Walnut
  • Carvings: Customer’s Husband’s face, with life-story symbols carved in twisting hair.
  • Color: Acrylic Paint, airbrush tinted lacquer.
  • Handle: Kansas Whitetail Deer shed Antler
  • Tip: Machined Brass Ferrule with replaceable rubber tip
  • Scrimshaw: Monogram Lettering of “WK” for White Knight
  • Height: 36.25”


This Cane’s Project Story:
This walking cane was ordered by a lady who found my other work posted on Lumberjocks. She wanted a cane made that would tell the life story of her fiance, starting with his face carved on the shaft of the stick, with his long white hair flowing down and twisting to the bottom of the cane. As we worked on the design together, other symbols of his life were added to the beard, such as his daughter’s name and Peace Signs, his love of playing the mandolin, King Arthur’s sword, a Celtic Cross, his fiance’s name with a heart that says “I Love You” in gaelic language, his love for playing the Spinet piano, and his first band he played in. With the final element being an engraved brass name plate at the bottom of the staff. The finish off the tip, I used a lathe turned brass ferrule which has a replaceable rubber tip.

Thanks for looking,
Mark DeCou



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

- List of Other Canes I’ve built:-

Folk Art & Pop-Art Carved Canes
  1. Carved Face Life-Story Cane
  2. Motorcycle Biker's Walking Cane, Carved Flames
  3. Elk Antler Handle, Carved Twisting Oak Leaves
  4. Bishop’s Carved Walnut Crosier
  5. Nascar’s Jimmie Johnson Themed Walking Cane
  6. Carved Oak Leaf Walking Stick
  7. Folk-Art Smiling Wood Spirit Face Cane w/ Elk Antler Handle
  8. Folk-Art Carved Wood Spirit Hiking Stick
  9. Folk-Art Pirate Carved Face Cane w/ Deer Antler Handle
  10. Cartoon Character Taz, Folk Art One-of-a-kind Art Cane
  11. Sculpted Wood Spirit Face Cane
  12. Folk-Art Wood Spirit Cane w/ Elk Antler Handle & Scrimshaw
  13. Folk Art Mountain Man Face Cane
  14. Shamrock Wood Spirit Irish-Theme Face Cane
  15. Walnut Wood Spirit Face Cane with Antler & Turquoise
  16. Collection of Face Carved Canes
  17. Moses-Inspired Face Carved Cane w/ Antler & Turquoise
  18. Shepherd's Stick, Carved Border Collie Welsh-Style Dog Show Trial Stick
  19. Carved Oak Leaf Walking Cane with Scrimshaw Artwork
  20. Amazing Grace Music Notes Carved Cane
  21. A Lady’s Elegant Red Long-Stem Rose Carved Cane
  22. Prairie Fire Hand-Carved Hiking Thumb Sticks
  23. A Folk-Art Carved Albatross Head & Snake Walnut Cane
  24. 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. Ash Sapling with Elk Antler and Inlays of Crushed Turquoise
  2. Knarly Cedar Driftwood Topped Sapling Stick
  3. Folk-Art Carved Wood Spirit Hiking Stick
  4. Nanny McPhee Movie-Inspired Crooked Walking Stick
  5. Naturally Twisted Tree Sapling Cane
  6. Naturally Twisted Tree Sapling Walking Stick
  7. Shepherd's Crook Hiking Stick
  8. Black Locust Tree Sapling Walking Stick
  9. 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. Ribbed Walnut Cane with Camphor Burl Derby Handle
  2. African Blackwood and Lapis Lazuli Ball Walking Stick
  3. Pink Ivory and Elk Antler Dress Walking Stick
  4. Coiled Ribbon Twisted Spalted White Oak with Walnut Handle
  5. Polished Black Steer Horn Upright Walking Stick
  6. Mexican Bocote Wood, Elk Antler Handle with Hand-Wrought Fine Silver End Caps
  7. Fancy Walking Cane, Camphor Burl, Maple, Bubinga, Whitetail Deer Antler, Inlays & Silver End Caps
  8. Custom Dress-Up Walking Cane, Walnut shaft with a Camphor Burl Handle
  9. Walnut & Buffalo Horn Twisted Cane
  10. White Birch & Buffalo Horn Twisted Cane
  11. Walnut Bamboo-Style Cane with Chrome Ball Top
  12. Walnut & Buffalo Horn Dress Cane
  13. Bird's Eye Maple Cane
  14. Spalted Sycamore Walking Cane
  15. Walnut Tall Knob Top Opera Cane
  16. Zebrawood & Walnut Knob Top Opera Cane
  17. 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 -

13 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4079 days

#1 posted 09-22-2010 06:10 PM

mark, as always and true to your craftsmanship, you have done a wonderful job here…its always a pleasure to see your inspires me to try to do the same…excel in my wood work..i know your customer will be proud when he walks with this in hand…thank you for posting it..its always good when your around…have a great day

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6869 posts in 4756 days

#2 posted 09-22-2010 06:24 PM

Really fine job Mark!!!

I was just on your Etsy site. You have done some really beautiful stuff. (I already knew that, but am always impressed, as though it were the first time seeing it). Which with my memory, sometimes it is!

I actually stopped short while walking through a clients house, to admire a set of figured cherry bookshelves. The lady asked me what I was looking at. I said, “that is a beautiful bookshelf”. She said, “are you kidding?” I said, “no, it truely is”. She said, “well you built it, you should like it!”

True story. I worry about me sometimes.

Again, very nice.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5182 days

#3 posted 09-22-2010 07:35 PM

Thanks Grizzman and Lee, you are very encouraging to me. I have the same problem as you Lee, I’ll be trying to find a photo in my archives of past work to show someone who’s emailed asking about a design concept they want me try for them, and while digging through the thousands of photos I’ve taken, I’ll stumble onto a project that I had forgotten about. Good thing I take photos.


-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 3614 days

#4 posted 09-22-2010 07:44 PM

Did you handcarve this cane or did you use electric carving tools like a Dremel?

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3901 days

#5 posted 09-22-2010 10:55 PM

Mark, just a fabulous piece of work! Love the face, the spiral(ness) the whole idea in general! Bravo!


View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5076 days

#6 posted 09-23-2010 12:56 AM

Another superb piece of art created by you!

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

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 5102 days

#7 posted 09-23-2010 01:39 AM

beautiful work as can always be expected from you Mark!

View cathyb's profile


843 posts in 4020 days

#8 posted 09-23-2010 02:27 AM

Great job. The details and your focus to pull everything together is extremely impressive. I think that’s what sets carving apart from cabinet making. In detailed carving there is such a intimate association between the work and your spirit that it is transformative. I bow down to you….......

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4550 days

#9 posted 09-23-2010 02:09 PM

Great looking cane Mark. Beautiful work as always. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View savannah505's profile


1849 posts in 4362 days

#10 posted 09-24-2010 03:35 PM

Another beauty Mark, great job, and I worry about Lee, sometimes he forgets me when I call him. LOL

-- Dan Wiggins

View Napaman's profile


5533 posts in 4853 days

#11 posted 09-28-2010 03:12 AM

very cool…this made me think of Gandalf from Lord of the Rings…

Have you ever considered a series of canes with character themes? I am sure there are copyright issues…but just a thought…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5182 days

#12 posted 09-28-2010 03:34 AM

Thanks folks for the encouragement.

Napaman: I’ve made several concept sketches of collector cane ideas for a series, such as Custer & the Tribal Chiefs that Defeated him, Famous Presidents, War II Generals, Native American historical Chiefs, Civil War Generals, Political People, Cartoon Figures, etc.

But, I stay booked up with commissioned canes, so I don’t get much time to work on anything other than styles that someone wants to order, and I’m always behind on them. Maybe someday I can sculpt what I want and they will sell, but so far the best business plan for me has been to build what someone wants to commission. In this economy, I’m just happy to have any work right now. I have a few canes that I’ve made on speculation that are on consignment in two stores and my store, and they usually sit for several months or a year before selling. So, there you have it, but I like your idea.


-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Elisa Reilly's profile

Elisa Reilly

1 post in 3463 days

#13 posted 01-17-2011 05:32 PM

I am the Lady who commissioned Mark to create the White Knight cane. The outstanding craftsmanship and thoughtfulness Mark put into this defies description. It started out being a somewhat modest tribute to my fiance, but soon took on a life of it’s own as Mark and I worked together to come up with what is truly a heartfelt work of art. I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to Mark for the time and effort he put into this project. I knew when I found him and saw the quality of his work and the love he puts into it, that I had stumbled upon a true gem.
I gave my fiance, Donald, a/k/a White Knight, the cane for Christmas, and as Mark predicted, there were tears of joy from his eyes. He stares at it often with awe and has told everyone he knows about it and the story behind it. And you can be sure it attracts quite a bit of attention when he takes it out!
Mark, I cannot thank you enough for helping me to show my precious Knight how much he means to me and to everyone he’s touched in his life.


Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics