Missouri's Antler Artist
Larry Glaze of Carthage was showing me the spring-fed trout stream that runs in front of a hunting lodge he is decorating when a bald eagle launched from a tree limb overlooking the creek. It seemed fitting, for some of Glaze's most extraordinary art works are eagles made from antlers and a bronze casting.
Stepping into Glaze's barn is like a trip back in time. It's a combination studio and a western-style art gallery. A sign hanging in front of the barn says, "Antler Art of the Plains." The barn includes a stall for Glaze's horse and a kennel for his dog. The rest is decorated with horseshoes, old pistol frames set in concrete and a replica of a wall from a local mine.
He has carved a large cactus out of a willow tree, decorated it with birds he carved and set spines on it-cactus style-from a locust tree.
Of course, he has lots of antlers, mostly from white-tailed deer and moose, but some from elk, too. Leaning against a wall are wagon wheels that Glaze will turn into chandeliers decorated with antlers. Part of the ceiling is covered with tin sheets that were popular 100 years ago. He found them in an attic, never used.
Glaze worked at one time as a dental technician, carving false teeth. In 1989, he was injured when he fell out of tree stand while deer hunting. While recuperating, he discovered he had a talent for carving reproductions of wildlife. Now, he makes carvings in whitetail deer, moose and elk antlers. He also makes unique lamps and chandeliers with objects taken from nature, and he makes eagle sculptures, sometimes working as many as four eagles into one piece. After creating an eagle head in clay, he sends it to Minnesota where a master casting is made. The master will make 12 or 14 metal eagle heads before Glaze must start anew and make another clay head. The eagle wings are made of moose antlers, and the whole piece is securely attached to a base. He often makes the bases from stumps or pieces of Osage orange wood.
Glaze took me to a Carthage bank to show me an eagle sculpture that was on exhibit there. Three eagles soar over a 150-pound slab of Osage orange. The sculpture would travel to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's annual meeting, where it would be auctioned with bids starting at $10,000. Conservation organizations