Talking Sticks, Spirit Sticks
About five years ago I began collecting interesting fallen branches I would find while walking in my neighborhood or in the woods and when travelling around the country. I started working with the branches by cleaning them, removing the bark, hand sanding them until soft and smooth to the touch, allowing the the unique shape and coloration of the branch to unfold, and glazing them.
I began making talking sticks/spirit sticks using these prepared branches. I use branches ranging from 12-16 inches long. After preparing the branch, I design and decorate them using fabric, ribbon, beads, stones, crystals, and feathers. I create and design message cards to accompany the sticks in several categories: Finding Your Voice, Students, Support for Illness and Celebration of Marriage and other special events. Many people use them to support their prayer and meditation practices. Others use them as talking sticks, where only the person holding the stick can speak (from the heart) and others must listen. Families, therapists, clergy and teachers use them as a communication tool and support tool.