Friday, May 08, 2009

I meet the wood carver

I have mentioned before the nearby house with a supply of logs out front for what is obviously a chain saw sculpture operation. I've even occasionally spied signs of a project underway.

I'm happy to report that I finally met the sculptor (though he calls himself a carver) just this past weekend. Name, Scott McCormick; he's had the urge to carve wood since he was a youngster in second grade, though he also works in bronze. His first piece was a traditional cigar store Indian.

He explained that he uses the chain saw primarily for roughing out his sculptures, working primarily with the kit of tools above. McCormick's current Indian will be colored, finished smooth in some places, rough where appropriate. Several of his recent pieces are on display at the Ian Russell Gallery.

One surprise: he doesn't like to work on logs that are too seasoned. This Indian, for example, is made from a downed log he recently found in the forest and continues to give off a fair amount of moisture. Because of the heavy grain in the face (below), the wood will be stained dark where it is not painted.

In addition to big diameter logs, Scott has small straight branches he carves into walking sticks, while the hollow aspen logs above and below are destined to become birdhouses.

Doesn't this log look as though it will make a perfect birdhouse? But then I'd enjoy having it just for the shape and the grain.


Omegadad said...

Nice stuff Mom! And ofcourse, he has work at Ian's gallery with all the other way-kewl artists.

Warren said...

wow, love the wood grain in the face -- that's going to look really nice when its done.

Jarart said...

Fantastic! I'd love to see that Indian when it's finished.

Kim said...

Those hollowed out logs at the end are cool..I can think of a lot of great things to do with those in addition to birdhouses.

Granny J said...

od -- you're right -- there is some way cool stuff at Ian's.

warren -- it'll be a handsome sculpt.

jarart -- I suspect it'll be at Ian's gallery, maybe.

kim -- there is something mysterious about hollowed out logs, like maybe you're going to met an elf emerging from such a log one of thse days.

Anonymous said...

Just as Michelangelo said: every log already has a sculpture inside. All you have to do is chainsaw away the extraneous material.

jarvenpa said...

I haven't been by in a while, so I had a lot of catching up to do here--great stories and great photos.

A couple years ago a friend asked if I could hold her chain saw carved bear until the customer could pick it up at my bookshop. I did, and was surprised at how much my partner liked the bear. So I had my friend make him one. The bear, carved of a old redwood post, sits now in my window facing the bookshop patio. He's next to Uncle Sam, who was carved by a young woman in Portland and embellished with some peace signs on his painted hat. He's of a cedar log.
I so admire people who can make their dreams take form in the world!.

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