Here’s something you don’t see every day: it’s a one-of-a-kind, seven-foot-tall, hand-sculpted Vancouver Canucks whiskey cupboard in the shape of a bear. It’s holding a beer and it’s wearing blue jeans. It’s the everyman’s everybear.

Hmm? What’s that, you say? You want to see this bizarre piece of folk art every day? Oh, well, great news, then: it’s for sale. For only $11,000, it can be a conversation piece in your living room.

I can just imagine the conversation now:

Guest: What the Hell is that?

You: It’s a Vancouver Canucks celebratory bear whiskey cupboard.

Guest: Oh, so you keep whiskey in it?

You: Not anymore. I drank it all, right before I bought it.

If you’re wondering just what inspires a man — in this case, one James (Jim) Bailey, to create something like this, you’re in luck. Jim’s Craigslist ad tells the whole story:

Five years ago or so, the Cyprus tree in our back yard died and had to be felled. The crotch of that tree with two branches stemming from it looked like bear’s legs so that’s how it started. 

Back in the day, my son and I were avid fans of the Vancouver Grizzlies. Looking at that piece of the tree, I imagined the Grizzlies’ out-of-work mascot shifting his focus to hockey to become a Canucks devotee–that’s the idea behind the piece.

Long before the playoffs–about halfway through the 2011 NHL season, I started to build and sculpt the bear.

Made entirely of found materials, the cabinet, shoulders and hat are a glued up mix of softwoods scavenged from discarded furniture and/or framing lumber; the arms and feet are limbs from the same Cyprus tree as the legs; and the head is a single chunk of red cedar hollowed out completely to reduce weight. After piecing it all together by hand, I carved it with a 4 1/2 inch angle grinder–nothing else except for the knife I used to sign the label on the jeans, Jim B. Checks in the top of the log inside the cupboard were filled with wedges of cherry. From foot to tip of beer bottle, this celebratory bear/whiskey cupboard stands an impressive 7 feet tall to honour the heroic efforts of the Vancouver Canucks throughout the 2011 NHL season. Built to keep alive our hope of certain victory this year, it’s a one-of-a-kind piece commemorating the most exciting season of hockey that I for one have ever seen. 

Okay, honestly, that’s pretty cool.

You’ll notice, though, that the bear’s jersey lacks a nameplate, but that’s no oversight. If you were to buy it, Jim could make that your name. Tempting, no? If you’re wondering, if Jim had his way: Given my dance background, I’d name it Bearishnykov if I were to keep the cupboard for myself.

Dance background, huh? Moving on.

Bearishnykov, huh? I object to this, simply on the grounds that there are so many Canuck-based bear puns that could be made instead. Murray Bear-on. Drake Bear-ehowsky. Steve Bear-nier. Todd Bear-tuzzi. Pavel Bear-e. Help me out here.

Anyway. You know who should buy this? Tanner Glass. Except for the ghost of Winnie the Pooh, there simply aren’t as many bears in Winnipeg as Vancouver. He could use the cupboard for bear-fightin’ practice.

Thanks to Days of Y’Orr for bringing this to our attention, although I question why no Canuck fans sent this to us first. You let a Bruins blog discover this? I thought you guys were cool.

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  1. cambo
    October 13, 2011

    Hey Harrison, another great start by your 0-41 team!

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    • Harrison Mooney
      October 13, 2011

      You know they’ve won a game, right?

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  2. jim
    October 14, 2011

    Wouldn’t Bearishnykov be a Jersey Foul? Or does it get a special exemption?

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  3. WP664
    October 16, 2011

    Alex Bear-rows?

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  4. J21
    October 16, 2011

    To the bearmaker: Cypress ≠ Cyprus.

    Just saying.

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    • Jim b.
      October 20, 2011

      Thanks for the spelling tip. I didn’t know that…Jim B.

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