The man responsible for the largest chainsaw-carved bear on the east coast of the United States, Paul Waclo, now has another accolade under his belt. His exceptional skills earned him a commission from the White House.
The Pennsylvania-based artist has been carving professionally since 2014. He was inspired by a show called “Saw Dogs” on the Discovery Channel, he told The Epoch Times, and ventured right out to buy himself a chainsaw.
“Using a chainsaw was quite an adventure for the first few attempts,” Waclo admitted, “but I found within the first two weeks people were asking to buy my sculptures.”
The artist’s new hobby quickly evolved into a part-time business. After only 12 months, Waclo was chainsaw carving full-time, and was even featured as an artist to watch out for on the front cover of Pennsylvania’s 50-Plus Life magazine.
Waclo carves into freshly fallen tree trunks, allowing him the height and diameter he needs to create sculptures on a truly impressive scale. “My ability to see images in three dimensions within the log is the real key to my success,” he explained.
The artist achieved nationwide recognition after his 18-foot Kodiak bear, the largest carving of its kind on the east coast, was erected in Bethesda, Maryland. The sculpture was a collaboration between Waclo and friend Kris Connors.
“Chainsaw carving” is by no means a misleading description of Waclo’s method. The artist explained that 90 percent of his sculptures are rendered using chainsaws—”large, powerful saws with 42-inch bars down to smaller saws,” he said—after which the narrow tips of 12- and 8-inch saws, electric sanders, and Dremel tools hone-in on the fine details.
Waclo, a keen bird watcher, has been observing eagles near his home for years. The graceful bird of America became the inspiration for a new series of wood carvings, and the carvings caught the attention of the president.
“Being asked by the White House to create an American bald eagle for President Trump was certainly a tremendous honor,” Waclo reflected. “The entire process on this 9 foot eagle took about 40 hours, from a log at a saw mill to a finished piece of art, worthy of a Presidential collection.”
Upon completion of the work, Waclo took to Facebook on June 14 and captioned along with a photo of the extraordinary, towering sculpture: “9 foot eagle ready for a special birthday surprise.” The post amassed numerous comments expressing awe and appreciation for Waclo’s meticulous handiwork.
In addition to the White House commission, the artist’s proudest to date, Waclo has had work displayed in Italy, Germany, British Columbia, and all over the United States.
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