Well this is a rather interesting thread one that I certainly am enjoying immensely all the great responses.
Talking about growing curves for specific purposed, it is an old technology, for instance, trees for canes were nurtured from their infancy in different forms by just tying them when they were young and tender shoots.
I just have to throw this in here as I read all your posts, the old people would just take a piece of straight grained green wood alittle heavier than what would be required and secure it in some strong wood cleavage such as the rung of a ladder in the barn floor, with rope pull it and secure with stout rope, so that it had the bend in the proper place and leave it until well cured
This is a time consuming method but produces a good straight grained bent offset wood blank for the subsequent reduction into a handle or other object needed. I might also add that you really need green wood for this type of bending not kiln dried.