Custom Dress Walking Cane Bear Head hand carved Handle Walnut Bubinga Maple Fantasy Marble Carve

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 11-14-2011 07:56 PM 14481 views 4 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This custom walking cane features Bubinga, Walnut, Hardrock Maple, Fantasy Marble and a hand carved walnut Bear’s Head on the handle.

email P1070367

Horse Head Walking Cane
Serial Number #2011-04
Height: 38” tall.

This custom walking cane was commissioned
for more information on something similar, contact me at
email: [email protected]

email P1070350


Project Story:
This cane was “commissioned”. Sort of came about in a round about way…....

A lady contacted me about ordering a new cane for a Priest that she works for, since he broke the cane he was using….the one that had a Horse’s Head on it.

She has waited patiently for many, many, months, and I finally got around to carving the new cane with a “Horse’s Head” on the handle….just like I remembered that she wanted.

I sent her an internet link to the photos, and waited for her response.
She responded that it was a beautiful Horse Cane, but that she wanted a “Bear Cane.”

I didn’t read her email well enough…..she wanted a Bear Head carved on this new replacement cane for the Priest.
So, I went back to the shop and created the ”Bear Cane”.

Serial No. #2011-04
Handle: Carved in Black Walnut
Shaft Top Section: Figured Bubinga
Disc: Fantasy Marble and White Colored Rubber Shims,
Shaft Lower Section: Hardrock Maple
Tip: Brass Ferrule and Rubber tip
For the Bear Head Coloring, I used acrylic paints and airbrushed tinted lacquers.

Here is a Link to the Horse Head Cane
Click for details

”...And Dogs and Cats Living Together….”
As I was reviewing these photos, I noticed that a couple of Cats slipped into the bottom of the photos while I was focused on the Bear Head. I’m not really a cat guy, but we have five of them and one border collie dog. My wife and Kids love cats, and I don’t like Pack Rats in my vehicles, so we all try to live together in harmony.

Our other border collie unexpectedly died a few weeks ago, so Rex is very lonely now. He’s such a pest in the shop, that I can’t really let him come in much, so he sits outside the door and waits for me. When I’m working on something, he will put his paws up and stick his nose right in the middle of it. When I’ve got woodstain all over my hands, or using the table saw, it’s just not safe for him, or me.

A few weeks back I was changing the valve cover gaskets on my old ‘72 GMC Sierra pickup truck, and Rex kept nosing into that work also. I would reach for the rag to wipe my hands, and it would be gone. I’d look around, and Rex would be laying by it over in the grass 10 yards away. The first two times, I went to get it and scolded him. After the third time my rag was stolen, I just went and got a new one and left the old one to him. Then, my second rag had disappeared. I could only laugh and roll around with him in the grass for a little while. I just love dogs…..and tolerate cats…...since I hate pack rats.

And, Rex likes to pick up about anything that is plastic to use for a chew toy. So between his thievery and the danger he poses putting his nose into my work at unexpected times, he comes in the shop for a minute or two, gets petted and talked to a little, and scooted on back outside. Outside, when he’s lonely he’s been trying to get comfortable with the cats. This actually hasn’t been an easy process for Rex, or myself, as his natural tendency is to chase and herd other animals, something cats are not too keen about. It has taken me almost a year to transfer him from a cat killer, to a cat chaser, to a cat herder, to total cat acceptance. But, we had peace….until “Squirt” showed up.

Since I’m at home in the shop alone, except for the animals most days, I get a lot of time to watch and ponder them, and understand their habits. We added the 5th cat last week when some friends of ours showed up at church with another cat for us. “Squirt” as they called him, had become too big of a nuisance at their house, so they sent him home with my kids. “Squirt” has been a wrench in the “cogs” around here since he arrived, and it’s interesting how adding one more cat can mess up the harmony of the other animals and the whole homestead.

For the first week, all of the other cats walked around with their ears pinned back, constantly looking irritated and upset, looking at me with a mean glare….like I had something to do with “Squirt” showing up. They aren’t all friends yet, but things are easing up a little for Squirt now. My border collie Rex, is lonely enough now that he even lets the cats eat out of his food bowl with him. To give him a chance to eat, we now bring him in for solo dining. “Squirt” is a humble enough kitty that he’s sort of growing on me now, but cats stay out of the shop.

.......Just a glimpse behind the curtain of DeCou Studios, at home with the simple-life here Kansas.

email P1070365

Thanks for reading along and looking at my project,
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. Horse Head Dressy Cane
  2. African Safari and Elephant Cane
  3. 50th Wedding Anniversary Staff
  4. Carved Face Life-Story Cane
  5. Motorcycle Biker's Walking Cane, Carved Flames
  6. Elk Antler Handle, Carved Twisting Oak Leaves
  7. Bishop’s Carved Walnut Crosier
  8. Nascar’s Jimmie Johnson Themed Walking Cane
  9. Carved Oak Leaf Walking Stick
  10. Folk-Art Smiling Wood Spirit Face Cane w/ Elk Antler Handle
  11. Folk-Art Carved Wood Spirit Hiking Stick
  12. Folk-Art Pirate Carved Face Cane w/ Deer Antler Handle
  13. Cartoon Character Taz, Folk Art One-of-a-kind Art Cane
  14. Sculpted Wood Spirit Face Cane
  15. Folk-Art Wood Spirit Cane w/ Elk Antler Handle & Scrimshaw
  16. Folk Art Mountain Man Face Cane
  17. Shamrock Wood Spirit Irish-Theme Face Cane
  18. Walnut Wood Spirit Face Cane with Antler & Turquoise
  19. Collection of Face Carved Canes
  20. Moses-Inspired Face Carved Cane w/ Antler & Turquoise
  21. Shepherd's Stick, Carved Border Collie Welsh-Style Dog Show Trial Stick
  22. Carved Oak Leaf Walking Cane with Scrimshaw Artwork
  23. Amazing Grace Music Notes Carved Cane
  24. A Lady’s Elegant Red Long-Stem Rose Carved Cane
  25. Prairie Fire Hand-Carved Hiking Thumb Sticks
  26. A Folk-Art Carved Albatross Head & Snake Walnut Cane
  27. 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. Gnarly 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 Birch Tree 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. 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 2007-2011, M.A.DeCou, all rights reserved and protected, ask permission first! Weblinks to this page are permitted)

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

12 comments so far

View whitedog's profile


652 posts in 4024 days

#1 posted 11-14-2011 08:24 PM

I thought the horse head was great … but this one is greater.

-- Paul , Calfornia

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4866 days

#2 posted 11-14-2011 08:31 PM

Very nice Mark!
It looks like you’ve been a vey busy guy!

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

View mpounders's profile


941 posts in 3462 days

#3 posted 11-14-2011 08:59 PM

Looks good! I like the monogram on the back also. Nice work!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View Karson's profile


35209 posts in 4967 days

#4 posted 11-14-2011 11:33 PM

Mark Very nice cane. So is the horse one for sale or already gone. You didn’t show it’s picture.

-- 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

2008 posts in 4972 days

#5 posted 11-14-2011 11:38 PM

Hey Karson,
the Horse Cane is still for sale, I have a link to the Etsy store listing over in the Horse Cane project posting.
thanks for asking,

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14182 posts in 4550 days

#6 posted 11-14-2011 11:55 PM

I think this one my favorite… very well done BUD

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3870 days

#7 posted 11-15-2011 01:50 AM

mark, this is a beautiful cane, as you might know from my nick name on here, and all through out the internet, im the grizzman, reason being, i love the grizzly…and you have done an excellent job here, i know they will love it..i know i do..grizz

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

View mmh's profile


3679 posts in 4289 days

#8 posted 11-15-2011 02:15 AM

Beautifully carved horse/bear canes! This one looks like it could do some harm on the knoggen!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4644 days

#9 posted 11-15-2011 06:40 AM


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View michelletwo's profile


2783 posts in 3582 days

#10 posted 11-15-2011 01:24 PM

great carving

View Buffalo's profile


9 posts in 2936 days

#11 posted 12-01-2011 07:44 PM

very nice work – your canes were the inspiration for mine . thank you and keep carving

-- Ray- Janesville Wi.

View Rafe Demers's profile

Rafe Demers

71 posts in 2552 days

#12 posted 01-09-2013 09:50 PM

Mark, both of these canes are amazing as are the many other projects you have posted. I have been admiring your work for quite a while but only recently joined LJ’s and am now just getting around to commenting. Your work has been quite an inspiration to me when creating some of own projects, keep up the great work!

-- Rafe Demers

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