Monday, September 14, 2009

Chainsaw: The "Keebler" Man

Earlier this year I carved a mini woodspirit on a small "Hobbit" sized walking stick at about 13" tall.(See picture below-right) It was mostly just a decorative stick but I really liked the acorn head that I had put on him and it got a lot of compliments. All of this led to last week when I decided to make a big chainsaw carved "Mr. Acorn Head" man out of a pine log that was a bit over 4 feet tall.

As the pictures to the right show, I started on top of the log by first shaping up the acorn, then sketched in a rough outline of the face and then the funnest part (at least to me) of any chainsaw carving... sawing on the beard/hair by texturing with the tip of the chainsaw blade. On a bear or eagle that texture would be the fur or feathers but all of it's done with the side tip of the blade in an almost "buzzing" motion with your wrists.

Adding a word of caution: If you decide to experiment with this method of texturing (or any type of chainsaw carving) I strongly suggest that you first receive professional instruction. I spent 2 weeks in 1995 under close supervised personal chainsaw instruction with professional log home builder Don Chapman from Laurel Fork, Virginia and that has made all the difference. All chainsaw carving can be extremely dangerous if you don't understand how to handle the saw under certain situations because all wood sculpting requires the use of the blades tip which makes the danger of kickback very likely if you're not completely focused on what you're doing. Texturing hair, beard, fur, or feathers requires using the tip of the blade so learn to do it right and never-ever compromise your safety!

I don't have a detail chainsaw with the beloved dime tip so after roughing out the general shape of the spirit I then took it inside the shop to finish up the face with my regular carving tools. The picture to the right is the small 13" acorn-head stick that I carved earlier this year used as a general guide while carving the bigger one.

This was certainly a fun project and I ended up naming him "Keebler" after, of course, the famous cookie making people. Keebler is now looking for a loving home, preferably with kids and lots of pets so that he can be sure to get the kind of love that he deserves!

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure Keebler will get adopted. Nicely done.