The making of the Richard III wand: before and after

If you’re curious to know what a wand might look like before and after, so to speak, I’ve now made an example of this! Here’s the “before” picture:

A stick of ivy
(Click to enlarge, although it only gets blurrier)

This is a piece of ivy I found when we were at the Battle of Bosworth site in Leicestershire a while back. I was asked if I wanted to participate in a fan art event for the King Richard Armitage campaign, which I thought sounded like a great idea.

As it’s to do with King Richard III, I wanted to use a piece of ivy, because that’s the wood of the month he was born (2 October). When we went to the Battle of Bosworth Heritage Centre, I therefore had to be on the lookout for any wood lying around, because what would be better than a piece of wood from the site where the King lost both the battle and his life?

As we walked around, on the ground off the pathway, I found a piece of hawthorn, which I picked up. Didn’t see any ivy at first, but at least I had a backup. Better a Bosworth hawthorn twig for the Richard III wand than just a generic piece of ivy from a garden in Nottingham, right?

As we walked on, we came to a lookout point over a field:


Next to the sign, a big tree, with ivy growing on it. At the foot of the tree, ivy twigs that had been cut off. I grabbed one of them and was terribly pleased. The right wood from the right place! Here’s how it turned out after I had whittled off the bark, sanded it down, oiled and decorated it:

A finished ivy wand
(Click to enlarge, although it only gets blurrier)

As you can see, the shape is intact and you can’t really notice a slight difference in length. The inscription on this particular side is Richard III’s motto, Loyaulte me lie (“Loyalty binds me”).

These aren’t the “official” photos, by the way, but it gives an idea what a raw twig can look like once it’s been turned into a wand.

As it happens, I’m really, really pleased with how Ivy Wand 07 (the official catalogue name) turned out. It’s a wonderful dark colour (as it was a long since cut twig I found, not a fresh cut one, where the wood is very light), I love how it’s wavy, the patterns the wood gets from how the ivy grows and that it’s really super-smooth to touch. It’s a pleasure to handle! Oh, if only I hadn’t already decided beforehand to let it go!

The wand was donated to the creator of the King Richard Armitage campaign in October 2012.

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