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Antonio Loves Whittling

When I have a spare minute or two what I enjoy most, other than cooking of course, is whittling. I have been whittling sticks since I was very young. It all started when I used to carve my initials into the sticks that I would take with me on foraging trips in the Italian countryside with Papa.

I am proud to belong to the Stick Makers Guild of Great Britain.  Yes, it exists, mostly grouping those wizards who can carve heads of birds and animals to decorate a walking stick.

My sticks are different and are officially called thumb sticks because you can use them by holding a top bifurcation of the wood with your thumb to have a strong support while walking. I started as a child to carve my initials on a stick and continued for the rest of my life becoming more and more decorative by whittling out the bark with a small carving knife. I may have made about 300-400 in my life using the time I have to relax. The wood I use varies, it can be chestnut, birch or hazelnut. I have one made of cinnamon and one made of sandalwood.

I have given away many, specifically made for the recipient. I have never sold one but I gave a few away for charity, resulting in the record achieved by having raised a donation of £15,000.

I am very proud of my collection containing sticks from all over the world wherever I had time and occasion to do it.  This is a creative activity I suggest everybody could have in their free time. It is very relaxing.