- Apr 27, 2018 -
This sculptor makes amazing wooden creations - using a chainsaw and power tools
These intricate carvings may look like the product of painstaking hours of work with tiny tools at close quarters.
But in fact sculptor Simon O’Rourke creates his stunning detailed works using a chainsaw and power tools.
The 40-year-old’s latest carvings, of animals including a stag, owl, and lynx, all came from a single redwood tree.
The sculptures have been placed along a footpath in forest, on the outskirts of Cardiff.
The new additions feature wildlife which would have roamed the forest historically but are no longer found there.
Each one features a poem, telling the story of the forest’s history and its wildlife.
The sculptures were commissioned by Natural Resources Wales to replace existing carvings which had to be removed due to their deteriorating condition.
Simon has carved more than 2,000 sculptures since he turned his attention to it full-time 11 years ago.
After studying illustration at Wrexham Glyndwr University, specialising in children’s book illustration, he could not find a job and so began working with a friend as a tree surgeon.
It was here that he was first introduced to the idea of wood sculpture.
“There was a bit of a natural sort of progression then when I saw somebody carving with the chainsaw for the first time,” he said.
Although the finished products are visually stunning Simon uses what on the face of it seem to be extreme methods to create his masterpieces.
“It’s chainsaws and power tools. It’s very quick but the principles of sculpture are all the same – it’s just the tools that change.”
The artist has a very specific way of doing things.
He said: “The first port of call is the design but one of the main considerations is what wood am I going to use and where is it going to come from.
“All of these particular ones came from one single tree – it was a huge redwood tree.