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Ian Caldicott sticks@wolston.com

Stick Dressing Terminology

The Parts of a Stick

The Head - The top portion of the stick, the part you hold. It is typically made of wood, horn or antler, its shape and configuration determining the type of the stick

The Heal - The part of the crook where it starts to curve away from the shaft, the most common place to hold a crook style stick

The Nose - the tip of the crook, usually turned up it was originally intended to hang a lantern on

The Joint - Where the head meets the shank, also called the marriage, how well this connection is executed tells a lot about the quality of the stick

The Collar - when the joint is embellished with another, usually contrasting, material it is referred to as a collar or spacer.

The Shank - The long, usually straight part of the stick. Most often made from the naturally-growing stem, branch or side-shoot of a tree or shrub. The most common wood used is Hazel but many other woods can also be used.

The Foot - The tip of the shank is usually protected in some way, most commonly with a brass or copper Ferrule but it can also be a piece of horn or antler.


Types of Stick

Shepherds Crook - The traditional staff carried by a shepherd, it usually has a curved head designed for catching sheep be the neck or leg. Also a traditional symbol of religious leaders. The nose is turned back up originally to hang a lantern on.

Market Stick - Traditionally a shorter shepherds crook typically with more ornate carving on the head it now generally refers to any crook that does not have the nose turned back up.

Neck Crook - What you usually think of as a shepherds crook the head was originally intended to be wide enough to catch a sheep by the neck. Typically the space between shank and nose (the narrowest point is sufficient such that it is wide enough to comfortably slip over the forearm.

Leg Cleek - Like a neck crook but with a much tighter curl, originally intended for catching a sheep by a hind leg Traditionally the spacing between shank and inside edge of the nose is the size of one old English penny (31 mm).

Cardigan Stick - Shaped basically as in inverted L the traditional design is like a neck crook with the head cut off as it starts to curve down again.

Walking Stick - Usually, but not always, a shorter stick the head of which is designed for holding rather than catching sheep.

Thumb Stick - Often a long stick with a V shaped head, while traditionally used by Shepherds in certain parts of the UK it is now more commonly thought of as a walking stick. The longer versions are intended to tuck under the arm to lean on, the shorter versions used much as other walking sticks with the thumb resting on one side of the notch and the fingers on the other.

Knob Stick - A stick with a bulbous style head, the more elaborate ones will have dog, bird, or animal heads carved in the head.

Derby Stick - A very popular style of walking stick resembling a capital T. The traditional design has a slightly imbalanced, wavy top line. Now used to refer to any walking stick where the shank meets the head near its middle with the head protruding to either side.

Gadget Stick - Before there were hidden compartments in suitcases there were gadget sticks, from the famous sword canes, to those holding small flasks, to hollowed compartments and built in whistles.