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March Club Night PDF Print E-mail
Club Nights - Stories about Club Nights

It was a great pleasure to have an excellent discourse on stick-making given by two of our own expert members, Jim Fraser and Jake Bryce.

They began with an informal question and answer session covering choice of wood, types of head and the methods of connection to the shaft, and the various things that can be done with horn from a variety of creatures. Horn from the Indian water buffalo, Bubalus bubalus for the taxonomically curious, is solid but after boiling in water for about half an hour, it can be bent with a little help from cramps, car jacks or scaffolding pipes, not to mention cunningly constructed templates. Sheep (I’ve started so I’d better continue, Ovis aries, cosmologists take heed!) horn is hollow and needs to be squashed to make is more or less solid, a process also carried out after boiling. Deer (Cervus elaphus) antlers can also be used. Wood (Trees various!) and plastic, for example Perspex, can also be used for the handles though the shafts are mostly made of hazel, harvested from around the county, including the centres of some roundabouts.

The demonstrations focused on bending horn (Jake) and straightening and fitting the shaft to the head (Jim), but throughout, a steady stream of nuggets of information about methods, what show judges look for, and how less than perfect pieces of material can be used effectively, poured forth to our considerable entertainment. A number of finished sticks were on show and several of the other stick-makers were also present to add both to the enjoyment and to the educational value of the evening.

 
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