Carved Cedar Peace Poles

Click pics to enlarge

I prefer to make things that last for generations. A cedar peace pole lasts about thirty years. So I stopped making them. However, my brother makes a few from time to time. He does not sandblast them. He carves them with a "V" bit, which is like typesetting in wood. It makes very nice text. But we end up throwing a lot away when we carve in cedar because cedar chips during carving, unlike, say, maple. But cedar is bug and rot resistant and lasts a long time outdoors, and that's important for peace poles.

Pictured here are some that didn't turn out the way he wanted. We got an order for an 8 feet tall wooden peace pole with eight languages on it. He didn't like the way the first one turned out, so he made another. Then we figured out that one of the translations was not oriented properly - something you would notice only if you spoke Hindi. So he made a third. However, we now had the first two he made with the Hindi laid out wrong. All the other languages read from top to bottom. The Hindi read from bottom to top. Owning either of these would be like owning a parlor game and quizzing people to see if they can find the mistake.

The original pole we sold for $750. The two we had left we sold for half price, $375 each plus $60 for shipping. I told him he should make more to sell for half price because there are people who can't afford $750. If he offers language choices, they have to cost $750 because of how much work it is to get one right. But if he makes four with the same languages on them, not offering any choices, just the polls already made, he should be able to sell them for half price.

The translations on the poles shown are Odawa/Ojibway, Chinese, English, Hindi, Spanish, Hebrew, Arabic, and Swahili.  I told him that if he uses Cherokee instead of Odawa/Ojibway, but keeps the other seven languages the same, some people would be interested.

If you want to see photos of all the languages on these polls, click here. The next ones would be similar.

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At this link you can see a forty-two inch tall, five-sided, maple pole we made for a chapel.

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If emotion did not play such a large role in how we run our world, wooden poles would be made out of redwood instead of cedar. Most redwood (and all the redwood we'd use) is farm-raised on a tree farm in California that is as large as the state of Ohio. The Western Red Cedar normally used for peace poles is not farm raised. It is cut from old growth forests in Canada. Ecologically it would be better to use redwood. Redwood carves better and looks better and comes from a farm. But people go berserk when they hear "redwood," so cedar is used for making wooden peace poles.

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Joel Selmeier
2446 Turnberry Drive
Cincinnati, Ohio 45244
Copyrighted 2011
Site Updated December 8, 2011