11 June 2006
CraftSanity Episode 21: Ted Anderson, Walking Stick Maker
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by Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood

Countless artists and crafters make amazing creations in the privacy of their homes not for glory or fame, but just because they love it. Ted Anderson is one of those sort of people. He doesn't have a website or gallery space, but his artwork is no less fantastic. His sells his delightful walking sticks by word of mouth and when I heard about him, I wanted to share his work with all of you.

So I'm very pleased this week to introduce you to Ted, a 64-year-old retiree from Sparta, Michigan, who carves beautiful walking sticks and enjoys the occasional primitive camp-out. Recently I took my little show on the road to Sparta, where I visited his basement workshop and learned a thing or two about crafting with wood.

The way Ted and I met is kind of a curious tale. About a month ago, I struck up a conversation with a guy named Arlen at the local Woodcraft store. I was there to buy a knife to try to whittle a crochet hook. I knew my reason for entering the store was pretty unusual, but Arlen was very nice about it. He showed me the display of knives, gave me a fantastic tip for speed-drying twigs in the microwave and told me about his friend, Ted, who teaches carving classes at the Grand Rapids store.

One of Ted’s bearded sticks was on display near the checkout counter. When I saw it, I was intrigued. I told Arlen about my podcast and asked if he thought Ted would be interested in being on the show. I left the store that day with Ted’s phone number and the rest is history. So check out this week's podcast to hear the story of Ted Anderson, the walking stick maker.


Click here for some pictures that I took of him making him this walking stick.

You can e-mail Ted here.

IMG_0402This Weeks' Project: Click here for my instructions for making a pair of rustic knitting needles out of twigs. (They're much easier to make than a crochet hook.) I do not knit with twig sticks very often. But it's a comfort to know that I'd be able to fashion some out of a tree limb, unravel a sweater and knit away should I ever get stranded out in the woods without needles. These rustic needles actually look cool as a decoration. So make a pair, and knit a small swatch to leave out on the coffee table as an interactive conversation piece.

Next Week's Show:
I'll be back next week with an interview with Brenda Dayne, the host of Cast On, that wonderful podcast for knitters.

Exciting Contest News: On June 26, I’ll be posting an interview with Gayla Trail, creator of the fantastic You Grow Girl website. The folks at Simon and Schuster donated a copy of Gayla’s awesome book, “You Grow Girl: The Groundbreaking Guide to Gardning” that I will be giving to the listener who submits the coolest eco-friendly craft idea by Saturday, June 24. The winner will be announced when I post the interview with Gayla. My hope is to be able to post some fantastic project ideas on the website when I release the green Craftsanity episodes in the coming weeks.

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Taking Names: Who do you want to hear from next? Send your comments, guest and show topic suggestions to jennifer@craftsanity.com.