This will be converted into, like, looking like a log, so I’ll be putting bark on here. I left this open for a couple reasons. The other bears will be, I’ll drill holes and fasten those from the underside so they can take it out, and I had left a little crossbar on there so, if she ever wants to put a plant, like a fern or something, it’ll look like a rotted old tree with something growing out of it. What you’ll see here now is there are light areas inside, and rather than brushing it in or wire brushing it in, I just use this and, what it does is it gets in all the fine areas, and it puts almost a finish on it immediately. I would say more toward the unique.
Every town has a wood carver in this area. I step it up just a little bit more than perhaps others in terms of detail. Felt really fortunate that there are people that are interested in, not only the animals, but unique settings. On the wood projects, I use a chain saw first through, probably, a good third of the project, and then I use a series of other power tools, kind of size down, the sanders, and then, hand carving tools, depending upon the wood type there, too. I set sketches out, and if it’s something I’m not as familiar with, or want a little more reference, I’ll do, like, a clay model or a maquette, and I also let them know that, I can show them examples of the drawings and small forms that I did prior to, and then show them the finished projects so that they know what to expect. You know, ’cause it’s going to be perfectly like this, or, ’cause you have to stay flexible.
We have access to white cedar that stretches in this area, but mostly north of us and it goes kind of over the Great Lakes type of area and that seems to do best for what we have available here for longevity and durability. It’s not the friendliest wood, it’s not hard wood, but, at the same time, it has a fragile or a flaking type of thing going on, so I use more power tools in that instance because it just, it’s just the tools that you have to use to get what you need to get to. I went to school for art, and got my BS degree in Art Education, and had taught for a few years, four or five years, and in the summertime, my brother-in-law asked if I had ever heard of this chainsaw art, and I really didn’t. About three years later, I think just one had built and, someone else, his neighbor asked type of thing, and, through those two, three summers, all of sudden I had like 11 pieces, about, and thought, well, if things don’t work out teaching, I’ll go that route. Well, should sometimes be careful what you say or wish for. I’ve had a lot of people come back for more, so that should speak for itself. Even on average, maybe, of those who, let’s say, get something, have three of something that I’ve made. There are a few that don’t have room for any more.
This is a clay maquette that I did and the finished piece is nearly life-size, probably 2/3 to three quarters. The top half is black walnut, and the bottom half is copper. It’s probably the seventh one that I’ve probably done, somewhere in there. First one was really simple, and came up with the idea by reading a friend’s book, it was fantasy piece, and then the little people in the trees, and of course, four in the morning, when the bad ideas come out, this was kind of an idea that worked. This is something I came up with that should remind people a little bit of a German artist, Escher, and, he never, he did do sculptures, but he never did this sort of diad, so I did a sphere, out of, from the cylinder form of a log into a sphere, and then, from there, I did this, I almost call it like a relief so, trying to maintain that really tight sphere look without getting too far from it.