Rural Missouri - November 2013 - (Page 16)
O U T D O O R S
"If the antlers have holes in them or have been
chewed on, I leave them alone," says the artist. "It
adds character to the piece."
Larry says he contracts with sellers in Alaska,
Colorado, Wyoming and Montana for the moose,
caribou, elk, stag and deer antlers he uses. He's been
known to buy 25,000 pounds of antlers at a time.
Participating in shows such as the Western
Designed Conference in Wyoming opened a new
market for his work. He found that buyers wanted
larger pieces for their spacious homes. He prefers
working with walnut, honey locust or Osage orange
by Heather Berry
for his tables and mantels, but he will incorporate
another type of wood at the customer's request.
"Sometimes the buyer has a special piece of wood
any have bullet
from their farm that means a lot to the family, so I'll
holes in them.
incorporate it," adds Larry, "And since they're proOthers have
viding the wood, the price of their order goes down."
The artist says no two pieces of his work are alike.
in battle. Some even bear
Every order is custom made for the owner. While
grooves etched by an arrow
that keeps things fun, Larry says it causes a little bit
that narrowly missed its target.
of a backlog.
Worn by weather and time, the
"I have two years of orders right now," he says.
antlers eventually will be dropped by
"Some items take longer, some don't, so I try to ﬁt
the moose, caribou, elk or deer. But for
smaller jobs in around big projects."
artist Larry Glaze, these sheds will become
The second year he was at the Wyoming show,
pieces of art that will grace homes and busiLarry displayed the largest piece he's created to date
nesses across the world.
- a 200-light chandelier made of deer antlers. The
If you'd have told Larry 30 years ago that he'd be
art was purchased by actor/director Clint Eastwood.
an artist one day, the retired dental technician might
Clint isn't the only well-known owner of Larry's
not have believed you. But his ﬁrst profession was
artwork. Both Bush presidents own pieces, as well
the perfect segue into the second career
he now enjoys as an artist who uses
as music stars Blake Shelton and Toby Keith. His
pieces found in nature as his medium.
work also graces the FBI headquarters in Wash"My artwork is unique as well as
ington, D.C., and homes in Japan, Taiwan
functional," says Larry, 73. "Everything
Larry's work can run $400 and up,
I make is one of a kind because no two
depending on how fancy the order
things are alike in nature."
gets. The most expensive piece to date
Larry says he used to take antlers and
was the chandelier Clint bought for
carve belt buckles and back scratchers as
$25,000. However, the pièce de résisa way to relax after a day at the ofﬁce. His
ﬁrst piece, a cat carved from the the base of
tance might be the artwork he's currently
working on for the new Mercy Hospital in Joplin.
an antler, is in his daughter Lisa's possession.
"It will be 12 feet tall and display ﬁve to six eagles
The cat carving led to bigger pieces. Larry began
ﬂying up from a 700-pound piece of marble," Larry
creating chandeliers, lamps and tables of every size,
says, noting that the piece will be completed by
turning cast-off antlers into functional art.
"I won't kill an animal for material to work with,
While Larry is happy his work has been well
and I won't cut down a live tree for the wood I use,"
received around the world, the fame is bittersweet.
says Larry, adding that he only uses what has been
In 2009, Larry's wife, Judy, learned she had brain
found on the ground.
cancer and only had weeks to live. Instead of dwellIn 1986, after seeing success in selling on the obvious, Larry and the family spent every
ing his creations, Larry sold his
minute possible doing whatever Judy wanted. One
dental prosthetic business and
of those things was making a speciﬁc bucket list she
began working on art full
wanted completed after her passing.
time. While his pieces found
Tears begin to ﬁll Larry's eyes as he tells the story.
accolades and buyers in the
"She was a painter, although it was only a hobby,"
Midwest, it wasn't until 2001
Larry quietly says, pointing at framed work on a wall
when Larry joined a juried
in his home. "One of the last things she asked me to
show in Cody, Wyo., that his
do was to turn our home into a gallery of artwork for
career ascended to new heights.
everyone to enjoy."
"I displayed an eagle with an
He pauses, then wipes his eyes. "It took me 3-1/2
American ﬂag draped across," Larry
years, but I got everything done on the list."
says. "It caught everbody's attention."
And true to his promise, Larry turned their CarWhat makes his eagles unique is
thage home into a gallery. Work from local artists
the fact that Larry uses moose antlers
both new and old grace nearly every room in the
for the wings, giving the eagles a 6-1/2home. Larry welcomes tours by appointment from
to 7-foot wingspan. The artist creates
nature groups, art clubs, garden clubs and similar
the eagle head in clay, then casts the
organizations. Nothing in the gallery is for sale; it's
shape in an inexpensive metal, using
simply there to be shared at Judy's request.
acid for the bronze-like patina he desires.
"Her asking me to do that gave me a reason to go
on without her," Larry says. "I've got great memories
Carthage artist Larry Glaze sits in front
of our life together here, and I'm pretty sure she's
of the massive eagle sculpture he made
looking down and enjoying what she sees here now."
for his home gallery last winter. While he
carves antlers, designs furniture from fallen
You may contact Larry Glaze at 9313 County Drive
trees and paints on leather, Larry is known
175, Carthage, MO 64836 or by calling 417-358-0753.
around the world for his cast-off moose
For more information, visit www.antlerartoftheplains.com.
Carthage artist soars with cast-off antler business
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2013
Rural Missouri - November 2013
White mules and family wine
Helping our neighbors
A rolling tribute to freedom
Out of the Way Eats
Big man from a small town
Hearth and Home
Best of rural Missouri
Rural Missouri - November 2013