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