Thursday, November 29, 2007

Giving Credence To Chainsaw Sculpture

I'm going to break from my normal whittling writing to give some much-due respect to what some consider the step-child of the whittling world. And that would be chainsaw sculpture.

Whittling purists will quickly dismiss this idea, but I would hope that with my 26 years of whittling history under my belt, I might be able to sway some skeptics with my arguments.

It's true that the classic whittling knife (I call mine Georgina) has been replaced with a much more crude device - that being the chainsaw - but I have seen many chainsaw sculptures in my time that I have found to be as gracefully crafted as any miniature I have adorning my shelves at home. And yes, chainsaw sculpture is not something you can do on a lazy Saturday afternoon when you have 30 minutes to spend while waiting on an old friend. Or in the wee hours of the evening when the joints ache something terrible and you can't sleep.

But I would argue that chainsaw sculpture is deserving of whittling praise because of its sheer scale. How often do friends come over and completely dismiss the hours you have spent whittling countless hobos and sad clowns? And being the modest whittler I am, I rarely point them out unless someone asks. But with chainsaw sculpture, your work can be front and center for all to see. A Paul Bunyan (with Babe at his side?) to accompany your door step. Or a proud grizzly bear to look over your flower garden. These are not eye-sores, they are monuments dear friends.

So next time you pass a wooden eagle with talons open ready to snatch its prey or a grizzly with a fresh salmon betwixt its claws, give it a moment of respect with a quick pause or even a simple nod. This is the 2.0 of whittling and it is glorious.

And remember, always cut away. Always cut away.


Anonymous said...

I am simply beside myself with rage. Right now, everywhere, whittlers died a little bit today.

Whittling has about as much to do with chainsaw sculpture as brain surgery does to roadkill, and you should be ashamed of yourself. 26 years of whittling history certainly doesn't seem to have sharpened your mind at all; you're just another one of those "forward-thinking", neo-woodmaker, rabble-rousing crapheads. I'll bet you also liked New Coke and the remake of The In-Laws.

If God had wanted whittlers to use chainsaws, he would have put little gas tanks in our knives. I think you get what I'm saying.

The 2.0 of whitting?! Are you deranged? Someone ought to chainsaw you off at the knees, or isn't that "gracefully crafted" enough for you?

Your kind really makes me sick.

PIPER said...

Dear friends, don't let Jenkins' harsh words deter you from my message. Jenkins will always be a traditional whittler and it is not my place to take him away from that. I am just trying to broaden our whittling horizons.

Anonymous said...

This argument reminds me of all the sports purists who were all tied in a wad about NASCAR drivers being considered athletes.

Just because they go on gas and make a lot of noise doesn't mean they're any less deserving of praise.

So too the chainsaw sculptor.

By the way...
There's a farm on I-35 along the Missouri/Iowa border with a sign that says they can chainsaw whittle any name in a log for a reasonable fee.

Now that's yard art.

Anonymous said...

Amazing Sculptures, we are looking for a Bald Eagle wood sculpture for our lake property.