The hardest thing about running ClaymoreShillelagh.com is easily photographing the staves.
We don’t make shillelagh for their visual appeal primarily. It’s nice when they look nice, but the magic is how they feel in the hand.
I know I‘ve cut a stave right when it feels almost alive, get it right and it creates a tension between weight, length , balance and hand-breadth … something who’s efficiency as an object is so great it feels like it has power all its own.
Hold a well cut shillelagh and you’ll understand why people always thought swords were magic.
None of which translates at all well in photographs.
Get a shot of the head, and you can’t see the shaft, get a shot of the shaft and there’s no detail of the head. Get a wide angle shot of the whole thing… and it looks like a picture of a paddock or a workshop with a shilellagh in the foreground.
We’ve got one of the lads from the valley rigging up some matrix-style VR interfaces, so you can feel the way a “lively” shillelagh feels in the hand. But until he can roll out enough pennies to make all the wee copper wires, and squeeze enough shellfish juice to get enough synaptic neurotransmitter molecules it seems we’re all unfortunately going to have to make do with pictures.
(anyone has any great ideas for shooting shilelleagh, we’d love to see ‘em).