Offbeat: Eagle

August 8, 2005--Posted at 8:30 a.m. CDT

SAGE, AR-- It stands 5 1/2 feet tall, weighs 180 pounds, and was carved from one single log of black walnut.  It's a golden eagle carving created by Charles Grissom, and it took him 5 1/2 years to complete.

Grissom worked with ivory over the years, but never anything of this magnitude.  He started whittling away on the log back in 1996 and didn't complete it until 2001.  He says he used anything and everything in his shop to create the eagle.  He says a friend suggested he carve an eagle so that's what he did, even though he admits he wanted to give up several times.  It was green wood. So he had to keep it covered and once he got an area finished, he had to immediately paint on a coat of varnish to keep it from splitting.

Grissom never named his magnificent masterpiece and one day hopes to sell it, so others might marvel in his mastery.