Some people need medical apparatuses like wheelchairs, canes, and crutches in order to move around. But where the majority of us might see that as a hindrance, one man saw an opportunity.
Mike Stinnett is an artist and a gifted wood carver from Oregon who decided that if he was going to have to use a walking aid, he was going to make the most of it.
Watch what he did with a seemingly ordinary piece of wood; you’ll be in awe at the finished product!
Most of us take the act of walking around for granted, but there are many people who require assistance to do it. Some may need things like canes and wheelchairs to allow for easier mobility. When Mike Stinnett, a wood carver from Oregon, learned that he would need a cane to help with his walking, he decided to make his own, and his designs will blow your mind.
Stinnett finds inspiration for his designs from the nature that surrounds him. He lives in a secluded part of Oregon that is home to some of the most gorgeous vegetation in the world. It’s nearly impossible to live in such a scenic area and not feel creative.
Stinnett looks for pieces of wood that, to most people, don’t immediately appear like they’d make useful canes. But, as he starts working, his unique designs begin to take form. Can you tell what shape this cane is slowly turning into?
That’s right—Stinnett carves all of his canes to resemble snakes! He spends an immense amount of time sanding and carving each individual piece so that the wood is smooth and the patterns are intricate. He puts a lot of love into each piece of his work.
Stinnett uses a lathe and dark wood stain to meticulously detail every single feature. Since a real snake has hundreds of scales, he wants every single one in his canes to be visible. The more realistic a look he can get, the more proud he feels about his work.
As Stinnett works, the shape of the snake slowly becomes more realistic in appearance. The wood he uses already features curves running up the length so it looks like the serpents are slowly slithering their way up the staff.
It takes Stinnett hours to carefully craft each animal; after all, he puts so much detail into every square inch. He has gotten much better over time, too. The first few canes he made were impressive, but they were nothing compared to the ones he makes today.
After the design of the snake in complete, he applies a thick coat of shellac on the cane. This gives the staff a glossy finish that also prevents anyone using the cane from getting painful splinters in the palms of their hands.
Just look at the stunning artwork on this one! Stinnett’s designs are sure to impress even the most talented wood carvers. He’s been doing this kind of work for years, and he has truly mastered his lifelong passion.
This is one of Stinnett’s finished products. As you can see, the details on the snake are so lifelike that you almost expect it to slither right off of the cane and escape back into the wilderness where it came from. Yikes!
Here’s a picture of Stinnett posing with one of his first creations. It’s slightly less intricate than the design above, but it’s still mesmerizing to look at. When Stinnett began designing his canes, he only used the snake shape. It took years of mastering his skill before he started to incorporate the shellacked staff.
People from all over the world are in awe at how realistic Stinnett’s canes are. In fact, they’re so lifelike that you’d probably have to warn someone before you handed them one; they’d think you were giving them an actual snake!
Can you imagine using one of these? People would certainly get out of your way in a real hurry!
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