ChainSaw Art

Of course not all pieces of wood are right for painting on in the manner of Joan White. Some pieces of wood are more suited to creating with a chainsaw as Boston Chainsaw Sculptor Jesse Green will show you.

It's Thursday and I do aim to give you a challenge on most Thursdays as the rhyme says: Thursday's child has far to go!! So if you want to be a Thursday Artist open your mind to new ways to express yourself.

Jesse Green (alias The Machine) tells the story of how his World Championship Tree came to be created from this:

to this

Jesse Green recounts: The client commissioned the piece. His idea originally was just to do the four logos on the four stumps, but it was a tree that wouldn’t die. Everything wanted to grow back around it. So then I decided, ‘Well, let’s carve the whole thing and it won’t grow back and it will be great.’ The stump needed to be cut down. It was four stumps growing out of one and it just wasn’t safe anymore. … I started looking at it and looking at it and then it just screamed to me. Then somebody showed me the ESPN cover [of a fist showing off all four Boston rings] and I said, ‘There you go.’ (

You can read the whole story of the tree in the article Count the rings: Chainsaw artist turns a tree into a Boston sports masterpiece.

The first appearance of Chainsaw Artists seems to have occurred in the 1950s with people like Americans Ray Murphy and Ken Kaiser.

You can watch Ray Murphy at work and hear his story below.

In 1961 Ken Kaiser created 50 carvings for what is called the Trees of Mystery. I wasn't able to find good images of these carvings but I did find a lovely carving of a mermaid created by Ken Kaiser.
(Credit: photo by Mike Marler)

This statue graces the Crescent City Harbor area on the coast in northern California just 10 miles or so south of the Oregon border. This is the area of Redwoods State Park and other parks with these ancient and enormous Sequoia trees. It is also the area of the early pioneers of the art of chainsaw wood carving in the 1950s and 1960s. Ken Kaiser's Trees of Mystery creations are about 15 miles south of Crescent city. (


If you are a child following my blog you cannot be a chainsaw artist at the moment. These artists have not only learnt about being creative, they have learnt how to operate a chainsaw safely. And this takes years of practice and guidance with an expert. I do want to open up everyone's mind to new ideas but please do not be tempted beyond your mental or physical reach.

Tomorrow we will look at (thanks to Jane) a completely different form of art expression- one that is much safer and quite enchanting.