Mention chainsaw and the mind goes to the 1974 horror movie ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’. However, there’s nothing macabre about this chainsaw wielder, called Jim Haggart. In fact, this 38-year-old artist astounds us by the deft use of this contraption to carve mammoth figures.
Haggart is so much in love with his chainsaw art that he can be seen lugging tree stumps on his pickup. Pennings Orchard in Warwick, England, is where he fires up his chainsaw to carve these huge stumps. Of course, he has to carry out chainsaw carving at such locales, since it’s easy to dispose of large amounts of sawdust created by his incessant sawing. He even offers this sawdust for free to people who come to see him work!
Haggart became fascinated with chainsaws when he was 20 after he had tried his hand on his father’s chainsaw to carve a funny face on a cherry tree trunk. He was completely smitten by a chainsaw and the artistic possibilities it offered. He was able to sell his first piece, a bear, within two weeks. This motivated him to choose it as a career. Today, he makes a living out of it and his wooden frogs, turtles, bears and tiki statues sell like hotcakes.
Although Haggart attended art class in college, he could only achieve a D and dropped out. However, by this time his work was already selling well. To create his sculptures, he either sketches his ideas beforehand or copies figurines. Such is his creative prowess that once he has carved a figure, he can do so again and again. Of course, carving 10-foot-high sculptures is no mean task, but he makes it look oh-so-easy.
Easy or not, his carving prowess is stupendous. He can carve the figure of a bear in 20 minutes flat. His one-man company, Chainsaw Carvings, sells 450 pieces a year.