This is the is the horn after it has been removed from the Ram's head, it still contains the core, which is the growing part of the horn and which is similar to the nail bed on a human.

The red mark on the horn is where I estimate the core will end so that the horn  is hollow to this point.

The core has to be removed and I do this by knocking the end of the horn on a concrete floor.

This is the core removed and at this stage the hollow can be measured. In both photographs one can see the spiral in the horn, this has to be removed.

To achieve this the horn must be boiled for at least an hour, but longer if it is particularly dense. If you are doing this in the kitchen wait until your wife is out and have the extractor fan turned to full!!

This shows the horn, from the side clamped between the two metal plates.

It should be squeezed to about one and one-quarter inches so there is horn to be removed to reach the required size.

This is looking down on the horn and it can be seen how the core hole has become elongated. Each horn has a concave side, the head side of the horn, and a convex side, the outside of the horn and this squeezing will with luck balance them up.

Whilst the horn  is boiling assemble the tools for flattening the horn, I use a single leg vice, sometimes known as a blacksmith's vice and two strong metal plates. Some stickdressers use a press fashioned from a bottle car jack and a metal frame with two plates, but this must be strong enough to cope with the pressure.

To help to minimise the size of files for downloading I will break the process up into blocks like this. I retain copyright to this material but make it available to individuals to assist them in making similar sticks.

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Making a Brown Trout Stick

(Part 1)

I find that making a ‘Brown Trout’ stick a relatively easy introduction to stickdressing as it is possible with a relatively poor quality horn to fashion a good looking  and practical walking stick,it is possible to hide the faults in the painting and the deep shape of the fish means that there is less likelihood of breaking into the core hole if it has not been squeezed out. It is very difficult to do something three dimensional from photographs but I hope the following helps