18 ft. Kodiak Bear - CODAworx

18 ft. Kodiak Bear

Submitted by Kris Connors

Client: Landon School

Location: Bethesda, MD, United States

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $30,000

Project Team

Lead Artist - Production Manager

Kris Connors

Custom Sculpture & Sign Co.

Project Manager

Paul Waclo

Chainsaw Carvings by Paul


A giant 6 ft. x 18 ft. tall poplar tree stump became a work of art on the campus of the Landon boys school in Bethesda, MD. The school mascot is “The Bears” so they commissioned this sculpture to be carved on-site from the existing stump. It was a collaboration with my friend and fellow sculptor, Paul Waclo. We completed the 18 ft. kodiak bear in 9 days while stopping and speaking to the different classes that came to talk to us about the carving process. The entire community was thrilled with the whole process and especially the end result.


The goal was to re-purpose the dying poplar tree by turning it into a piece of art that reflects the school spirit.


Paul was the main contact person with the school authorities. I was the lead artist who was responsible for the drawings and designs. We all worked together to come up with the final design concept. The contract was signed and Paul and I got to work setting up our scaffolding and carved from the top down, finishing each section as we made our way down the sculpture. Each day we would touch base on our progress with the school leadership until it was completed.

Additional Information

This sculpture holds the record as the tallest wood-carved bear on the east coast of the US.