Mr. Dougherty is a very good storyteller. And there is always a story, because each piece takes at least three weeks to make, blooms before a rapt and sometimes fractious audience, and depends on the efforts of a fresh team of volunteers new to stickwork, over which Mr. Dougherty presides like an enthusiastic Outward Bound leader.
“It’s a problem-solving event, and problems arise every day,” he said. “You have to be flexible. I like working with sticks, but it’s really an excuse to have these experiences. One is to be bad and play out some kind of stick thing in a public place, like pulling your pants down, and another is this huge outpouring from people who don’t know you and walk up to you and say, ‘What is this?’ ”