"It's going to be a heron,"
Carvings of owls and hawks grace the tops of three other tree trunks in the same yard. McCaskill carved a large panther into a trunk near the Browns' garage next to a second trunk from which two panther cubs peer.
"It takes me about a week or so," McCaskill said of his tree trunk art. "Some chain saw carvers will do a piece in a matter of hours. I like to take a little more time, get things a little more finished. Then I put a little stain on, some sealant sometimes."
Another large tree trunk sits on the east side of the Browns' property.
"No, I climbed up and looked at that," McCaskill said. "It's too rotted and hollowed out to work with."
The heron tree trunk also has a hollowed out section. Fortunately, it's small enough not to affect the integrity of McCaskill's vision. Sufficient usable wood available, McCaskill said he plans to carve two herons into the trunk before explaining how he plans to carve around the base of the sculpture to portray the birds standing in water.
"The thing about outside sculptures is that sooner or later, with the wind and elements, they're not going to last forever," McCaskill said. "So I mainly do inside pieces."
McCaskill created the earlier works several years ago at the request of
"My mother, younger daughter and I vacationed in
"I got on the Internet looking for chain saw art," Brown said. "Everything I found was too expensive, but then my mom told me she saw an ad in the Times-Review for a whittler's club. They told me to try the Russell Art Farm Center in
An issue of
"It just showed up in our mail for some reason," Brown said. "But as soon as I saw the cover I knew that was exactly what I wanted for the big tree stump out front."
McCaskill takes a break from sawing away to point out the magazine cover, which sports a heron, provided by
McCaskill's earlier outdoor carvings on the
"I was driving by one day and saw [McCaskill] carving the trees in the
School officials, Bruce said, often place blue graduation caps on the owls.
"We wouldn't put just any old owls out there," Cochran said. "
God given talent
McCaskill, in 2000, took lessons from
"I feel God has given me certain talents, and am grateful everyday that he allows me to pursue my passion," McCaskill writes on his website. "Walking through a
McCaskill works in wood, stone and copper and said he strives to create unity between his vision and raw materials.
"It is the nature [of the material used] that directs me to its eventual finish as a piece of art," McCaskill said.
The cost of a piece depends on several factors, McCaskill said.
"Depends on if they want a piece of fine art, chain saw art or what they're wanting," McCaskill said. "Generally, pieces start at about
McCaskill said he likes to tackle challenges while carving. Water, for example, the challenge of depicting water and movement in the herons he carved for the
"I was thinking of other challenges to take on and thought sound," McCaskill said. "How do you represent and show sound in a sculpture?"
McCaskill decided to find out and is now at work sculpting his first likeness of an actual person. The sculpture, Pink Floyd guitarist
"I play a little guitar," McCaskill said. "And Gilmour's a hero of mine and one of my favorite guitarists. I saw Pink Floyd a couple of times at
Gilmour's likeness, McCaskill said, is being carved into a great piece of wood rich in character and texture.
"I just went through a bunch of old pictures of him and found a good one from the mid '70s around the "Dark Side of the Moon," "Wish You Were Here" period," McCaskill said. "It kind of looks like him now, but I still have a way to go on it."
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