Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Deer Mink Oak Wand

 A white oak tree had been struck by lightning on a Full Moon night felling a branch to the ground. I was able to ethically and spiritually collect the wood to craft into a variety of ritual tools. This project was a Native American inspired style wand of that oak wood with a raw amethyst crystal tip. The pommel end is a sturdy fusion of a Pacific Mule Deer antler tip with the wood. I accented it with hand trimmed mink fur and a supple leather tassel with vintage ceramic glass pony beads in purple and white.

13" Amethyst, Oak, and Mink Wand by Tree Pruitt

Below is shown the natural irregular crystal form of the genuine amethyst tip. This richly colored stone was not heat treated for color -- I know because I cleaned the soil from it myself. It was quite exciting to use a gem specimen that I'd collected in America for a Native American inspired wand; it felt good for the project overall, and the owner was quite pleased too.

The final photo below shows the pommel end more closely; The pencil is shown for size comparison. Trimming the long dark hairs from a strip of reclaimed mink fur exposed the soft cocoa colored fluff of the undercoat. The antler is held onto the wand by a pin on the inside. I hand drilled a hole into each of the materials and inserted a small metal rod with some adhesive to join the halves very firmly into a whole. The antler was finished off by trimming and sanding to smoothly match-up with the diameter of the wood. It is not an easy thing to cut antler by hand! After having crafted this wand I gained a greater respect for those crafters who'd lived before the advent of power tools, but as always it was well worth the effort!

Starting with Blanks

I start all of my wands with ethically gathered sticks and branches that I've cut to length. Most will be set onto a tray for baking at a low temperature in order to sterilize them, especially if the bark will be left on the sticks.

The ends may be carved, rounded, or left in the raw. Small branch off-shoots make great places to tie on thongs of leather with feathers, charms, or beads for an owner to create personal touches.

This image shows unfinished wands. Some keep the tree bark on, some are de-barked, and some have twists or a spiral created by a partner vine having grown around the branch, such as with the honeysuckle wand shown in this photograph.

Wood types shown on this page are white ash above, twisted honeysuckle, oak, pin oak. Because I craft with wood that Spirit brings my way, rather than cutting trees apart, availability of species varies a lot. I enjoy the extra challenge that adds to creative flow and, it gives Spirit a greater opportunity to work through me, reaching out to that someone in need of a special ritual tool.