Hooked on carving: Sherwood Park artist creates sculptures with chainsaw
‘Someone called it the rock and roll of the art world, and I kind of like that’
In the front yard of a home in St. Albert, artist Kelly Davies is creating a dragon from the stump of an old tree.
Davies, of Sherwood Park, has been an ice-carving artist since 1999, but for the past four years he has been passionate about making art with a chainsaw.
"Someone called it the rock and roll of the art world, and I kind of like that," he told CBC News.
In May, Davies was hired by a St. Albert family to do a carving on a Manitoba maple stump out front of their house.
After the initial consultation, he got the go-ahead to carve a dragon.
"I had wanted to do a dragon for a while, so I suggested it and the client loved it."
Davies, who runs an animation design business, was hooked on chainsaw carving the first time his saw hit wood.
These days he is able to pursue it every week. He has various projects on the go, including one for the Town of Thorhild and another in Sherwood Park.
He loves sharing his art with people while it's being made. The collaboration and public engagement excites him more than being in his garage, just pumping out carvings, he said.
In front of an audience on Canada Day, he created a piece for the Muttart Conservatory he hopes will be there for many years to come.
Chainsaws aren't known to be a finesse or detail-type tool, he said.
"If I make a mistake, I make it really quickly. I know I've made a mistake, so I stop and start again."
Davies uses several specialized chainsaws with various "carving bars" and sizes of chain to bring the tip to a finer point.
The 43-year-old plans to continue making chainsaw art long into the future.
One of his long-term goals is to carve a large outdoor chess set. That would be a labour of love as it would be too expensive for any one client to finance.
"There is no limit to this, there really isn't," he said.
"My heart and soul need this. I'm in it for the long haul."