Confessions of a Teenage Caduceuturg

August 23, 2011

I would like to introduce you to Kat, guest blogger for today. She is a lovely young lady with bright red hair and a love of Tolkien, Anne of Green Gables, and more. 
(In other words, she is pretty awesome).

Today she is going to share with us the story of the wands that she makes with her family!
(I know that a few of my blog readers are vehemently anti- or outspokenly pro- Harry Potter. I'd like to ask that we don't go into that discussion here... However, if you, like me, love HP, then please read on! Kat's story is brilliant!)
P.S. In the picture, Kat is wearing her prom gown... with jewelry that I made! Eeep!
                            Also, be sure to  check out her blog, Carrots!

 Confessions of a Teenage Caduceuturg

Oh, I know what you're all wondering: What on Middle Earth is a "caduceuturg?" Well just hold your hippogriffs and we'll get to that.

This all started more than a year ago now, around January of 2010, all because I wanted to make my cousin (we'll call her "Hermione) a wand for her birthday in March. I started sketching out designs, and then asked my dad (hereafter labeled "He-Who-Can-Do-Anything") for help with the specifics.

The first step--planning and design

Hermione's wand: Linden and Dragon Heartstring, 9.65 inches.

I continued working on Hermione's wand, but really didn't think that much of it until my own birthday in February.

My family and I were all in the dining room for my birthday dinner when my brother looked out the window and said, "Is that an owl?" He then went around to the door, and returned with a package. A brown-paper-wrapped package. With a label on it. And the label had not only my name and street address, but also the exact room we were in. Now almost hyperventilating with excitement over the best prospective birthday gift ever, I tore off the packaging to reveal this:

That's right, folks. My dad had made me a wand--Willow and phoenix feather, 8 and three-quarter inches. And from there, things kind of went crazy. My dad created three separate wand companies with three distinct styles and started churning out unique, hand-made wands like mad.
H.L. Gryphon and Sons (Purveyors of Fine Magical Mercantiles since 1327) use a shaft-and-handle construction like mine and Hermione's.

Wilkinson and Silverwood make turned wands on the lathe.


Greensward of Glencoe specializes in single-piece nature-inspired wands.

Dad made wands for every member of our extended family, and then we started selling them. Dad took them to his work, and I was the official vendor at my high school. The reception was fantastic--especially around Christmas and, oh, November 18th. (The day of the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1). In fact, that week we completely sold out! Dad calls himself a caduceator, using the Latin word "caduceus," meaning "wand." 

Now, Dad's the real craftsman here; he makes every single wand himself (except for my friend "Bellatrix," whose wand was made by my brother.) But I myself got more and more involved--after all, I did inadvertently start the whole thing. I was head saleswoman, but after a bit I was also head...consultant? Wand-lore-and-Harry-Potter-expert? C'mon, I needed a cooler name than that! Caduceuturg. Yep, that'll about fit the bill...and, ok, so it does just mean wand-expert...but it sounds all cool and Latin, right? Right. 

Here's what I do. In general, I'm in charge of wand description--I measure them, choose the cores, and make sure anything that's Harry Potter-related is accurate.  (That last bit has become less necessary as we started selling them--copyright issues, you know.) I get to experiment with lots of fun terms, too: "variegated walnut," "power nodes," "engraved pommel." Wands have endless invented vocabulary. Usually, though, I'm an employee of Wilkinson and Silverwood's. We specialize in "historical" wands--that is, we make them, but they come with certificates detailing their long and no doubt glorious past. And I'm in charge of writing those certificates. I research some minor historical figure, usually an alchemist or something of that kind, from a few hundred years ago or so, and then invent names and dates and events all about how the wand came to be in the possession of its current lucky owner. You may now admit that I have the coolest job in the world. 
The three most common wand cores: Dragon Heartstring, Phoenix Feather, and Unicorn Tailhair.

The certificate which accompanies a W&S wand.

As of right now, we only sell wands ourselves. I keep telling Dad that he should open a shop on the internet--so many people would want one of these! They're completely one-of-a-kind, handmade, can be personalized, and they're much cheaper than any other wands out there. Dad's worried about the time it would take to keep an internet shop up, but who knows? Maybe if enough people expressed interest, it could win him over.
My wand--shaft, handle, and core---in the first phases of construction.

My brother's wand, modeled partly after the Elder Wand as depicted in the Harry Potter movies.

 (Hi, it's Shaylynn again. Thank you so much, Kat, for your lovely blog post! I'm sorry it took me so long to get it up-- for some reason, Blogger wouldn't let me upload photos for a long time. Hence the reason that this post, which I wanted to schedule for Friday, wasn't actually published until today, Tuesday....)

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  1. I've never read the Harry Potter series, but those wands are gorgeous!

  2. Wow, this is so cool! And those wands are extremely gorgeous! I'm wondering how much they sell them for...

  3. Elena-- I actually asked her awhile back, she said between $15 and $30, depending on the level of complexity for the particular wand. :)

  4. Really? Wow, that is insanely cheap, compared with other prices on the market.

  5. I would buy one. Those are insanely cool.

  6. i would too they are brilliant!

  7. me to definetly that waould be awsome :D


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