Custom Gunstock Carvings in the Arizona State Fair

My Arizona State Fair carvings update

     This year I submitted three custom carvings in the wood carving division of The 2010 Arizona State Fair and was very pleased with the results.   I really tried to stretch out of my comfort zone into areas that were new to me.   Using oil paints and stains to augment the carving is an area I needed to improve upon so I worked hard on this with these entries.

     In the Gunstock carving division, my “Dangerous Game” rifle stock that had carving of “Africa’s Big Five” dangerous game animals took first place.   The African Big Five are the Cape Buffalo, African Lion, Leopard, African Elephant, and Black Rhino.  

   I made is a point to try and give each animal individual traits or scars.  If you look closely, you can see the cape buffalo has  scars across his nose from a lion attack.   The big Bull Elephant is covered with caked on reddish colored mud to protect the skin from the harse African sun.   The Rhino has a very long horn that I copied from a circa 1920’s photograph.   I gave the Lion a mane like the MGM Lion in the movies.   And well, all Leopards have spots and rosettes, so I tried to give my cat a different look – like he is casting one more backwards glace before melting into the bush.  

It is carved on an old Monte Carlo style stock for a 1903A3 Springfield rifle.  The wood is a light colored walnut that was very popular in the 1960’s, as was the Monte Carlo stock style.  






     In another carving division, I entered my “Leaf  Rifle” stock featured in an earlier blog.  This carving earned the Blue ribbon in it’s division.   The stock was completely covered with Oak Leaves and Acorns.   This was a undertaking that had a huge design phase.  The leaves all had to flow down the stock, not just lie in a pile.  Also each leave had to be an individual, not just copies of the same leaf.  There were over 125 Oak Leaves on the rifle stock and 25 or more Acorns added to the carving.  

     The stock was a light colored hardwood so once again staining and painting of the leaves to give them true depth, variation, and contrast was a real concern.   The photos show the completed rifle complete with scope, flashlight, and laser sight.   This is my personal rifle and so far, it has turned out to be a fine small game rifle.


    Finally, I entered a Wooden Wall Hanging made of solid Hard Maple and inlaid with a Simulated Ivory carving.   Once again I was fortunate to take first place in this carving division.   The size of this wall hanging is about one foot by three feet.   It is a carving of a sheer mountain cliffside with a pair of Mountain Goats, carved in the Ivory, walking along a almost nonexistent trail up to a waterfall.   The border was carved to look like rocks and boulders.   

     I did find that hard maple is not the best choice for carving.   Although the wood holds detail well, it dulls the fine carving burrs unbelievably fast.  Since the Mountain Goat is one of my favorite North American game animals, this carving hangs in my own den.



Thanks for stoppin’ by…..

Lance  Larson