Legendary Master Woodcarver David Stehly Posthumously Releases Book on Wildlife-themed Walking Sticks


Carving Walking Sticks

Walking sticks have become much more than walking aides throughout the years. They have elevated to an art form. David Stehly, master woodcarver best known for his walking sticks, is posthumously releasing a book called Hand Carving Your Own Walking Stick: An Art Form this May 2017.

Stehly was interested in woodcarving since he was a child but turned to it full-time after having served faithfully in the US Navy during the Korean War and Gulf War and also after having earned a doctorate degree in chemistry. At that time, Stehly’s art blossomed and he won numerous awards. In a 2008 interview, he claims to have carved over 1900 walking sticks in a 30-year period.

Wood caring artist David Stehly working on a walking stick.

Snake-adorned walking sticks became Stehly’s specialty. As the snakes twined perfectly around the walking stick, one would be reminded of the caduceus symbol and also of being among wildlife.

Woodcarving wildlife is popular among wood artists due to the fact that it offers many opportunities to create detailed works of art. For Stehly, however, being among wildlife was just as important. An avid record-keeper who documented all of his walking sticks, he recalls his most favorite stick was one he carved outdoors simply with a pocket knife.

Through Hand Carving Your Own Walking Stick: An Art Form, woodcarvers are invited to learn Stehly’s secrets to hand carving walking sticks through wildlife-themed examples. In addition to easy-to-follow carving instructions, the book also offers information on harvesting and curing wood, plus advice on getting the best finishing results with paints, stains, varnishes, acrylics, and woodburning.

Stehly’s book is certain to become a staple among walking stick hobbyists.

Woodcarvers will have the opportunity to learn from a legend and also to honor an artist whose lifetime of incredibly exquisite woodcarving continues to inspire.