An Indianan, with family ties to Kentucky, Neil Cobb came to carving & sculpting to satisfy his natural need to create things. He has been making walking sticks for about 15 years. As his children have gotten older, he has become more devoted to exploring this creative side.
When he first began making “snake staffs” he would use any type of wood that he found interesting. But, that has changed since he discovered a stash of Tobacco sticks in an abandoned barn in Onton, Kentucky. His wife’s family has farmed in this part of Kentucky since the early 1800’s, and the sticks are homage to the honest values and the hard working people of Western Kentucky.
The major element is his found sticks, which are for the most part hickory. He carves, patterns and textures them using a lot of different techniques and tools. He uses natural materials, such as bass wood for teeth, parts of pine cones & tulip poplar seeds to decorate his sculptures. Wood burning tools and torches add a burnished quality to the sticks. Recently he became fascinated with learning how to do inlay, which has allowed him to add touches of malachite and coal into the mix.
Neil feels he is at once leading and being lead. In his words, “The progression of my work has been interesting. I can not wait to see what the future will bring.” Neither can we!
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