Tag Archives: custom leaf carving

Squirrel gun with a European feel.

Carved stock with a European Style Leaf and Acorn motif.


CZ 22 4

This Custom carved stock was on a CZ .22 Training Rifle and since is had a classic European shape to the stock I chose to make the carving have a decidedly older European flair.    The carving subject was a combination of Leaves and Acorns.  I researched carvings of the 19th century to get a feel of the style and then designed a more elongated leaf style as well as a longer styled acorn.

CZ 22 5

The stock of the CZ .22 Training Rifle is made from Beech wood.  Beech is a light colored hardwood that is stained with a Walnut colored finish.   This means that when you carve the stock is exposes the light wood underneath and you need to stain and paint the stock carving when complete.

The trick to carving on white wood is lighting – you have to make sure you light is shining across your carving area and not straight down.  This to make sure you can see the shadows to show carving depth so you can see the “flow” of your carved leaf.

CZ 22 6

I also felt that the design and style of the carving should look like they we done years ago – an old style carving look that echoed the work done with hammer and chisel.   I chose not to stipple the area outside the craving since that was not a practice/style done on the carving examples I used for my design.

The design I put together had an area for initials but we did not use that area for that.   For a little flair, I added fishscale to this areas and stand it a lighter color to make it POP.

CZ 22 7

To finish this stock I user diluted oil paints of many shades and colors to add even more depth to the carvings.  they are diluted down to almost a color wash so you can still see wood grain beneath the color.

This already has the look of an old heirloom on a new rifle.   If this type of carving interests you and you would enjoy something like this designed and carved into your firearm, drop me an email.

Thanks for Stoppin’ by….

Lance Larson

A Custom Carved Weatherby 28 gauge shotgun

Hand Carved stock on a Weatherby 28 gauge  SA-08 Deluxe


The 28 gauge shotgun is a small gauge that has always had a loyal following for hunting quail an other upland game.  They are becoming more popular in the shooting sport competitions and many shooter have a 28 gauge just for the ‘SUB GAUGE” competition at shoots all over the country.  Weatherby came out with a 28 gauge semi auto shotgun last year and uses beautiful Walnut for their stocks.  That is what I used for this custom carving.


Here is a little information about the Weatherby shotgun I used from the American Rifleman Magazine:  http://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/weatherby-sa08-deluxe-28-gauge



I wanted the Hand Carved scene that fit the shotgun that it was carved upon and decided to go with a bird dog and quail – a great combination on any shotgun.   I tried to make it a simple design with Basket Weave replacing the checkering and a partial border of Oak Lea.ves and Acorns added.   The scene is three quail busting out from under the dog’s nose as he holds point.   This is a scene that should get any bird hunter’s blood pumpin’.



I chose to keep the shape of the original checkering when I replaced it with basket weave because, with many manufacturers, that shape identifies the manufacturer and model of the firearm.  In this case, it was also a nice looking design.   I went with Basket Weave because it is a classic style and it also gives a good grip on a shotgun.

If this style of carving is something you would be interested in for your shotgun, Contact me.   I’ll help you with your own Family Heirloom.


Thanks for stoppin’ by …

Lance Larson

Custom Carved His & Hers Shotguns

Matching Ithaca Model 37 Custom Carved Shotguns


This is a carving commission like none other I have ever had.   This gentleman wanted to give a wedding gift to a good friend that would truly be one to be remembered forever.



He wanted to give the Bride & Groom, His and Hers shotguns and have them custom carved and matching.   When we talked initially, he had not decided on a make or model of shotgun for the gift but only knew that there had to be beautiful wood on the shotguns.  


He did decide on the shotguns by Ithaca Gun and the Model 37 pump shotgun.    He went directly to the manufacturer and by doing that he was able to custom order a higher grade of wood for the stocks.  He ordered a Ladies Featherlight and a Trap Model, both the model 37 Pump.  

Here is a little info on the shotguns from the Ithaca Website.  





Model 37® Ladies Stock

Ithaca Gun is proud to introduce the new Model 37® Featherlight® with Ladies Stock. The gun features a unique drop of comb, drop of heel, cast pitch, and toe out. Since this stock is designed for women shooters, the ergonomics make it comfortable and well-fitting for women. It is available in 20 gauge only.

The Ladies Stock project began in December 2008 from a simple conversation with a firearm instructor who was disappointed that no manufacture offered an off the shelf firearm that would fit the average woman. We took this as a challenge and set out to build it with the input from many people both in and outside of our industry.





Model 37® Trap Model

The Trap Model holds all the features as the traditional Model 37 with the exception that it comes with a Monte Carlo style stock. This stock can also come with an adjustable comb.


Ithaca actually shipped the finished stocks directly to me.    The plan was then for me to complete my work, then ship the custom carved stocks back to Ithaca to be fitted to the shotguns and then be shipped to the client – all in time for the wedding.


The wood Quality and Beauty was fantastic and while the guns were being ordered and produced, my client and I finalized the carving designs on the stocks.   He chose Basketweave, Oak Leaves, and Acorns.  To make the two guns matching yet slightly different, I designed the Basketweave on the Brides stock slightly smaller in scale, and the leaves were to be carved in a bit different style.  Both had the same elements, but different enough to see His & Hers easily.  Also I added a Monogram of the Bride and Groom’s initials were added to their respective stocks, as well as the Wedding date.


The first step was to remove the checkering on the buttstock and forearm.   This was very touchy work on the forearm since the wood was very thin in this area.  I had the barely shave the checkering off to have enough wood to still carve the Basketweave into this area.  The buttstock was thicker, hence more forgiving, allowing me to carve the weave area with no worries of totally penetrating the wood.   All Leaf carving outside of the basketweave area was carved in an inlaid style with no exterior relief.   This allowed for showing off as much of the beautiful wood grain of the stock as possible.    I had suggested not to do any scenes on the off side of the buttstock because the stock wood was just too pretty to carve over.  The client agreed.

After the carving was complete and the carvings finished, the stocks were shipped back to Ithaca and then on to the client.   I am looking forward to some photos from him showing the bride & groom with their shotgun.


If I can help you with an extraordinary gift for someone who really deserve one, drop me an email.


Thanks for Stoppin’ by …




Finders Keepers – A Hand Carved Story

Finders Keepers, or “How a Grizzly gets your Elk”.


   When I built and completed a solid Walnut sideboard table a few years ago,  I had a huge left over chunk of Walnut that over two feet long and eighteen inches or so wide.   It would make a great carving so I had saved it for just the right carving subject. 

     There has always been competition between predators for food in the wild.  This carving shows just such a stand off.  A hunter in the Rockies got his elk, went back to camp for his pack horses, and finds that that it my not be his elk anymore.  His pack hourses seem to agree since they are heading for parts unkown as fast as they can.   Hence the title “Finders Keepers”.   


Finders Keepers image

     I did use the grain of the wood to decide how the design would be laid out.   The right side of the wood grain swirled and swept up like a tree trunk so that’s what it became.  You can see the many shade variations in the grain in the sky background.   I left that area natural for just that reason.

     As an  outdoorsman and hunter, Grizzly bears have always fascinated me.   When we hunt, fish or just hike in the northern Rocky Mountains, we have to realize that humans are not at the top of the food chain out there.   It not a park, it’s not Disneyland, it is a majestic, harsh wilderness and this kind of confrontation can happen.  I tried to show this in my carving of this stand off.

Grizzly image 1


Grizzly close up image

 Carved leaves image

      I entered this carving in my first juried art show on October of last year.   Having practiced and worked on my carving skill over the years, I had always competed in carving competitions, never art shows.  

     I was not sure what to expect, or even if my work would even fit in their competition.   I entered in Sculpture as this was the closest division they had to my work – they accepted it into the show.  

     It was a nice opportunity to show my work to a wider audience and though I didn’t win, it was nice to be recognized with an “Honorable Mention”. 


Thanks for stoppin’ by,

Lance Larson






A Custom Carved Cane with Deer Antler Handle

Custom Carved Cane of Memories 


Hand Carved Cane   This project started as a smooth Aspen walking stick.   It had a few knots that added character but it was generally smooth all over making it a great canvas for the carving. 

   The cane needed to be a total of 34″ tall so all the hardware had to be installed  and measured before the wood could be measured and cut off to length. 

   I had to shape and fit the handle hardware to the wood and then cut the cane to length remembering a  rubber cap would be mounted on the bottom.   I had to allow for that also.

   The cane handle is made of Deer Antler and is carved to fit into the brass fitting.   It’s carved in one piece, cut in two, then mated together in the brass handle fitting.

Stag cane handle 1

 Stag cane handle 2






   The carving on the cane was to show history – a lifetime of outdoor memories.  The Deer Antler Handle – to remember the lifetime of deer hunting in the Midwest.   His hunting dogs were an important part of the family for him.  

   On the cane itself, his bird dogs are carved – the two Wiemaraners he had early in his life and two of the German Shorthair Pointers he and his family had years later.     



   The carving also has a Pheasant and a Sharptail Grouse – the upland game birds he and his son hunted most often.   Fishing was a big part of the outdoors for him also.   So much so that he never was without his fishing gear in the trunk of his car – 7 days a week – 365 days a year. 


   He and his family took trips to Northern Manitoba almost every spring to fish for Big Walleyes and Monster Northern Pike.   I carved a Monster Pike toward the top of the cane because of the way Big Pike seem to always hit the hook at the surface.    I carved the Walleye at the bottom of the cane since that’s where you catch them – right off the rocky bottom.



   All the different carvings were brought together and surrounded by leaves and vines.   They circled and twisted around the dogs, birds, and fish and blended them all together.   The top and the bottom of the cane was encircled with bands of carved basket weave.  

    I hope he sees this as not just a cane, but as a collection of fond memories.  Because that what it is to me…

 Happy Birthday Dad… thanks



Thanks For Stoppin’ by…

Lance Larson