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A carving for Grayson

Porter works on oak stump

By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

 You may have noticed that when several old oak trees along Carol Malone Boulevard had to be removed recently, one extra large stump was left behind just outside the city building. There was a reason for that – and that reason was Larry Porter. 

Porter, who says he has been carving for “about ten years now,” started whittling seriously after he retired. It was a hobby that quickly grew into a passion. 

Since taking up wood carving he has made several pieces, drawing inspiration from all walks of life. His carvings include roosters, horses, still-life pieces like a basket of flowers, and everyday scenes like two men talking on a park bench or an elderly lady out for a stroll. Because of those pieces, he said, he was approached about coming up with a design for one of the trees that was going to come down near city hall. When he agreed the city had the tree trimmers leave an extra tall stump for Porter to work with. 

He said he isn’t sure exactly what he’s going to do yet, but he’s thought of a figure that would include a man with a long, flowing beard as a central element. While he provided a few more details of what he had in mind, he said the final design wasn’t set. 

“What we’ll eventually come up with, I don’t know,” Porter said. 

He said he’d like the final reveal to be a surprise though, and that he might try to cover his work space with a tarp, to obscure his progress and design, until the final sculpture is unveiled. 

He also said he’s never tackled a carving of this size before, but he realized when he agreed that it was going to be labor intensive. Despite that, he said he’s excited to work on it. 

“I’ve only done small stuff, so this is an adventure for me,” Porter said. 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

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