Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Design Team Project for Proxxon ~ StoryTelling Sticks~

" StoryTelling Sticks" Aka "The Talking  Stick"

I am fascinated by Native American culture and ways, so I decided it would be a wonderful project to create these StoryTelling Sticks or as the Native Americans say " Talking Sticks". There is a rich history in the use of these Talking Sticks" at community gatherings. The person who would be speaking would be given the "Talking Stick"  to speak his "truth" and not to be interrupted by others. Only the person holding the Talking Stick would be allowed to speak. There is much meaning behind the creation of the Talking Stick as well. Everything used to created the stick has meaning from the wood used, to the bead colors, paint colors, fur, gemstones etc. And although a Talking Stick can be used to speak one's voice, it can also be used by a Storyteller and to document the stories told . Charms  with ribbons and  a connection to the story being told can be attached to the end of the stick with ribbon, this way each story is documented. More information can be found by doing a search on the internet and I also have gathered some information below for you on Talking Stick Circles.

*Talking Stick Circle Guidelines (David Boje & Joe Gladstone, 2008) 
1. We sit in circles, not pyramids.
2. The person with the Talking Stick is the designated story-talker.
3. Pass the Talking Stick clockwise. Start with the person sitting in the East-most position, then go to the right. In Talking Stick going clockwise is an earth-process. Otherwise the magic is undone.
4. Persons without the Talking Stick, please listen, write notes, and notice the story. Focus your listener attention on the storyteller with the Talking Stick. Let your mind recall stories as the teller tells stories.
5. Try to limit interruptions. A person with the Talking Stick can pass it to someone for a clarification, question, or amplification on a point, then call the stick back to finish their story.
6. There will be multiple rounds of Talking Stick Story Circles. Each time there is a question. At the end of a round of story-sharing, story-noticing (story-listening), a spokes-person repeats the main themes, issues, resolutions, and proposals that came up. So be sure to take notes.
7. The output of Talking Stick Circle is ideas, proposals, and stories of a vitalized community. Designate people to listen, to observe, and to provide a report out of the collective story that is emerging in the Circle.
8. The point is to create a collective story, one that is faithful to everyone's living stories, to unify in community.

This was such a wonderful project using  art,intention, purpose and meaning.I hope you enjoy creating them as much as I did!


Wood pieces about 3 x 11
Drill for holes
Acrylic Paint
Distress Stain ( I used Tim Holtz)
Tribal stamps ( I made mine)
Stamp pad
Glue Gun
Ready made suede tassels ( or you can make one)
Carved  gemstone feathers or other shapes
Iron metal focal
 Jewelry Wire for stringing the beads
Assorted  6mm beads,feathers,leather,leather string, hemp string,Sari Silk Ribbon

For this project I really used a lot of things I had around my art studio. So investigate your stash and see what you might have lying around that would be a perfect compliment to creating your own "StoryTelling Stick".

1) Sand the rough edges on your pieces of wood to create that vintage/worn look. Drill a small hole about 1" for the bottom from the front to back.

2) Paint your sticks, I used a turquoise and a deep orange for the main color.

3) Distress you sticks with  the Distress Stain in a mahogany color for that distressed/vintage look

4) Glue on a leather piece that is random in shape to go several times around the stick in the middle. ( I had some spare pieces that were embossed from another project that I used)

5) Using your tribal stamps  and ink pad ,start stamping where you  have open space on your sticks. Mine shapes represent the mountains and the forest ( pine trees)
6) Wrap the sticks with more ribbon,hemp or leather strings and tying around the  middle of the stick.

7)Start embellishing with the beads, gemstones and  feathers as I have above.

8) Add the tassels at the bottom of the sticks where you have drilled a small hole.

And there you have a wonderful creative StoryTelling Stick!

~Happy Creating~

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