Peter Thomas
Living Wood

Stick Making

As a family tradition from Peter's farming days , Peter Thomas also makes traditional shepherds’ crooks, working and walking sticks, again using locally sourced materials, ie. rams horn, deer antler and shafts cut from sustainable sources.

Shafts are cut in winter and seasoned for the minimum of a year before being straightened, either by steaming or careful use of a hot air gun. Species commonly used are hazel, blackthorn , ash and sweet chestnut .  Occasionally dogwood, gorse, and crab apple are used. BUT all are locally sourced. Some e.g. hazel, ash, and sweet chestnut are harvested from ancient coppiced woodland .

The shaft is then fitted with a top - either a naturally grown top , or antler , or with rams or cow horn. In all cases the head is fitted onto the shaft with the addition a steel pin , inserted to give additional strength . A collar is fitted to cover the joint and also provide extra strength . Finally a metal ferrule is added to the end in order to prevent and protect from wear .

All shafts have an oiled finish rather than varnish, being less prone to damage and marking , while at the same time stopping the wood from drying out . The only exception being if a stick is for showing rather than " working" in which case it can be varnished.


Stick Making

Stages in making a crook from cow and water buffalo horn.

Stick Making - Water Buffalo Horn

Stages of making Water Buffalo Horn Leg Cleek


Stock replacement during lockdown