Scoring with a score: Whittle the Wood Stump 2’s Matt Ounsworth picks up runner-up honors |

Scoring with a score: Whittle the Wood Stump 2’s Matt Ounsworth picks up runner-up honors

Left: Matt Ounsworth works swiftly in the Quick Carve of Whittle the Wood Rendezvous. Right: Ounsworth displays the second-place contest winner "20 for 20."
Matt Ounsworth

As someone who’s achieved the top prize in past years, Matt Ounsworth was more than willing to accept runner-up in this year’s Whittle the Wood Rendezvous.

Taking second place and $750 in the overall contest, Ounsworth, from Fort Collins, paid tribute to the two decades of Craig’s woodcarving festival — running for a full score, or 20 years — with the piece “20 for 20.”

Matt Ounsworth relaxes with a drink while waiting to hear the results for the 20th annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous. Ounsworth won second place for his animal totem, “20 for 20.”
Andy Bockelman

The animal totem was partly inspired by the noteworthy anniversary and by the piece that won him the whole shebang in 2017, “Kindred Spirits,” a totem with multiple forest animals.

Matt Ounsworth, of Fort Collins, holds up plaques celebrating his wins for People’s Choice and Artist’s Choice at the 18th annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous. He also won first place overall for the carving “Kindred Spirits,” an animal totem.
Andy Bockelman

He took it a step further this time. At the tip-top of the new piece is a butterfly perched on the ear of a bear.

A bear, a butterfly and a salmon are among the many animals in Matt Ounsworth’s “20 for 20” at the 20th annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous.
Andy Bockelman

The bear is also clutching one of two salmon in the wooden work, while lower on the totem are multiple owls, turtles and otters, among others to total 20.

A cluster of smaller animals make up Matt Ounsworth’s “20 for 20.”
Andy Bockelman

Ounsworth was all but done with the carving, painting and lacquering of the work by Friday, luckily beating out the wet weather that night.

20th annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous carvings

Stump 1 — Nate Hall — “Mountain Migraine”; Rams butting heads

Stump 2 — Matt Ounsworth — “20 for 20”; Animal totem (Second place)

Stump 3 — Jim Valentine — “Buckshot Bill”; Cowboy

Stump 4 — Damon Gorecki — “Wood Haven”; Bench

Stump 5 — Justine Park — “Home of the Brave”; Skull with feathered headdress

Stump 6 — Joe Srholez — “Xing Yun (Lucky)”; Dragon

Stump 7 — Chad Stratton — “Long Ago”; Wooly mammoth

Stump 8 — Bongo Love — “The Sweet Life”; Hummingbirds (Third place)

Stump 9 — Robert Lyon — “Horse of Course”; Horse

Stump 10 — Robert Waits —  The Lorax”; The Lorax (Artist’s Choice)

Stump 11 — Fernando Dulnuan — “The Lion of Judah”; Angel with lion and lamb

Stump 12 — Ken Braun — “Blue”; Velociraptor (First place, People’s Choice, Artist’s Choice)

“It’s nice to have some extra time,” he laughed. “I hope people think it’s even better than the one I did a couple years ago. I’ve definitely gotten faster, at least.”

Having been to WTW five years, Ounsworth, of Fort Collins, has created some memorable works, including last year’s “True Story” a fisherman and his catch.

Matt Ounsworth of Fort Collins cheers on his wooden fisherman in catching a cod in the carving “True Story” at the 19th annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous.
Andy Bockelman

Also making “Hop Spirit,” a beer-inspired item, he still fondly remembers a winged swine.

Matt Ounsworth’s “When Pigs Fly”
Andy Bockelman

“I really loved my flying pigs, those were different,” he laughed, reminiscing about 2016’s “When Pigs Fly.” “I always try to do something different.”

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