Every time someone stops to watch Larry Green carefully slice into a block of wood, he remembers a day many years ago when he was the person watching, not carving, and hopes history repeats itself.
Larry was attending an art show in the 1970s in Tulsa, Okla., when a woodcarver piqued his attention.
“His carvings were lively, expressive, and detailed,” the Indiana Artisan recalls. “We talked, I asked questions. He saw my interest, and he volunteered to teach me. I often wonder if he had not been willing to invest the time if I would have become a woodcarver.”
The Daviess County resident carves stand-alone pieces such as a fisherman showing off his catch or a weathered work boot. He also carves scenes that are a happy mix of things he has seen or experienced and pure whimsy — a person with a shopping bag slipping on a banana or a child feeding squirrels, while the grandfather sits on a bench reading a newspaper about the park’s squirrels.
“I prefer to carve caricature style rather than stylized or real-life studies to express my sense of humor and produce an immediate audience reaction,” Larry says.
Using traditional tools, Larry starts each piece with northern basswood or catalpa because “they both take detail very well,” he explains. Carvings are roughed out using a bandsaw then created only with knives and chisels. He does use a small drill, however, to position lace holes in his shoe and boot carvings.
He’s written six books on woodcarving for Schiffer Publishing, yet he still positions himself as a student.
“I attempt to learn a new cutting skill with every new creation,” he says. “The constant adventure of discovery and transformation when changing a block of wood into an appreciated form keeps me picking up the knife.”
Date / Time