Monday, November 5, 2012

Tree Stump Beautification

Cowboy & Eagle Americana
Lately I have been very busy with tree stump carving! I love carving stumps because of their permanent location.  I also dread the logistics of carving away from my studio.  After all, carving a tree stump with a chainsaw is a lot different than meeting friends to carve a hunk of cottonwood bark.  For one thing, the tools are a lot bigger.

One of these stump carvings begins with visiting the location to examine the stump.  Once I figure out what the customer 'really' wants me to carve, a few things have to be looked at before coming up with a price.  Such as:
Two bears, squirrel & raccoon.
Is the wood going to cooperate or is it likely to splinter, crack, and fall apart?
Is is rotten or solid?
Will the design fit inside of the stump?
Is scaffold needed?
And how far must I drive by the time I bid the job, carve the figure, oil the surface, and return later to seal it with urethane?

Goldfish Totem
Gotta figure those hidden expenses too...  Tools have to be packed  into the truck before the job then unpacked, cleaned, sharpened, and maintained to be ready for the next project.  "Time is money."

Then there is the schedule.  "You want it by the weekend?  HA HA HA HA HA!!!"  I'll do my best but unless you can control the weather, there is no guarantee.  Locally, wind causes more delays for me than does the rain.

Eagle & Salmon
Now that we have agreed on the price, what happens? You pay me, of course!  Then I start the "tree stump beautification."  :)

What can go wrong?  Mostly minor things...
If the job is large, the big hunks of wood removed, as well as scaffold feet, will dent or otherwise damage your lawn.  (A small price to pay for a large piece of art.)
Spontaneous design changes occur due to flaws and foreign objects in the wood. I've found bullets, nails, screws, spikes, staples, barbed wire, ceramic insulators and even a wrench buried under the bark of a tree!

However, the majority of what can go wrong occurs after the carving is complete and I have moved on.  It is the owners responsibility to protect and maintain their property (artwork).  I have provided a short video on caring for chainsaw carvings. To see the video, click here.