I recently completed my second custom wand commission. Despite already writing about making a wand I had such fun designing Mark’s wand with him that I wanted to share the experience with you. I really enjoy it when customers get involved as I love collaborating with them.
Mark, like many people, visited the Pottermore (now Wizarding World) wand quiz, to discover his perfect wand. It turned out to be a 13 inch chestnut wand with a dragon’s heartstring core. However, he was unable to find one to buy anywhere online. So that’s when he got in touch with me.
defining the brief
One of the hardest parts of designing a unique item is understanding exactly what your customer wants. So to get a better understanding of exactly what Mark’s dream wand looked like I asked him a series of preference questions. Mark’s answers (in italics below) helped me understand what kind of wand he would like.
Do you have any design preferences? Obviously it’s to be a 13” slender, wand in Chestnut wood, but in terms of style what would you like?
Coloured/natural?…….. Natural but may contain some colour if your creative flare thinks so
Ceremonial/everyday use?……….it will just be on display so probably ceremonial
Dramatic/understated?……………………….Dramatic sounds interesting
Runic inscriptions /initials/ plain?…………….no inscriptions plain will be fine
Wild(some bark left on)/ smooth and polished?……..smooth and polished but i like the idea of a pummel that may have some bark on it but not a deal breaker if it doesn’t
initial design ideas
From these answers I produced initial sketch ideas showing a variety of possible designs. I asked Mark which wand, colours and ideas he preferred and told him he could ‘mix and match’ features from the different wands if he liked.
finalising the design
In response, as well as telling me what he liked, Mark also helpfully produced this sketch. In it he pulled together all of his favourite design features to make his perfect wand. I thought it was pretty awesome so we had our final design.
The wand would have 3 sets of burn lines along the shaft but otherwise it would be left natural. The handle would retain some of the bark, but where it was to be held would be smooth and curved to fit comfortably in the hand. This area would be scorched with a blow torch to leave a slightly shiny, black surface. The end of the wand would then be cut diagonally, with the dragon’s heartstring core being represented by a circle of red woodstain at the centre of the wood grain.
the turning process
Once the wand was shaped and coloured, I applied a couple of coats of natural plant based sealant. This protections the wood from dirt and makes wiping it clean much easier.
the completed wand
further reading …..tree folklore
The idea that different woods exhibit different characters is a very ancient one and my research into the subject of tree lore was fascinating. I will certainly be exploring it more fully as I plan to make more real magic wands in the future. If you’d like to find out more about our native trees and their associated folklore why not visit these wonderful nature websites?
have something special you’d like to commission?
If you’d like your own unique, wizard wand or want to chat about another commission idea please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the form below.