Every now and then in life you run into a certain type of person that you wish you could sit down with and just pass the day listening to their stories and experiences. If you have ever crossed paths with Larry Longtine, you would agree that he is exactly this type of person!
Larry not only is a carver, philosopher, excellent cookie baker, he is also a retired police officer who is proud to say that he never once had to fire his weapon in the line of duty. This is probably due to Larry’s warm personality and calm demeanor.
Ruth Severson and Larry operate a wonderful wood carving shop named In The Chips located in Moorhead, Minnesota. Here Larry is pictured with the shops Head of Security, Oscar the cat.
Larry began carving in 1979 when he was in need of a duck decoy and decided to make his own. If that decoy looked anything like his loon, no wonder he decided to chip away instead of buying a cheap plastic version of a duck!
Diving right into carving Larry joined the Red River Vally Wood Carvers in 1980 and has served on several committees and been part of lots and lots of shows. I asked who inspired him most through his journey in carving? Larry would not give me any names simply for the fact of how grateful he is for all the people that have contributed to his growth as a carver and a person.
Over the years Larry has really honed his skill and produced some wonderful pieces. This is one that he is really proud of and is on display at In The Chips, Moorhead, MN.
Let me give you a closer look so that you can truly appreciate the detail in this stunning bobcat! What immediately caught my eye was the difference between the short fur on the face and the longer fur on the body…marvelous work!
If you are not a cat person, then here is a relief carving of a wolf that you can sit back and admire. Notice how the colors are laid down masterfully! By the way, if you are not a cat person and you stop in at In the Chips, Oscar the cat might demand a belly rub as an entrance fee.
It is always a pleasure talking to Larry because he has just as many jokes as he has serious advice. I would like you to please take a minute to admire this bark house that he carved a few years back.
Now, imagine Larry walking over to you asking if you have a quarter. What he shows you next is exactly what I am talking about. Larry always mixes some serious with some fun! A quarter size version…WOW!
Having fun and enjoying what you do is necessary but doing things the best that you can is something that Larry preaches all the time. The expression on this leafman shows the fun side while the rest of it shows Larry’s skill at carving.
In the past 35 years Larry has created many masterpieces of all different subjects, but he is a specialist when it comes to carving carousel horses.
I asked if he had a favorite horse and he replied that his all time favorite is sitting right in his very own home. Hopefully someday I will have the honor of seeing it firsthand. Thanks to amazing craftsmen like Larry Longtine, there are still some of these magnificent hand carved carousels in existence today.