Gary Keenan, Chainsaw Artist
Sponsored by Abilene Rent-All Sales Inc.
and Echo Power Products
Four carvings daily
Thursday, Aug. 2, through Saturday, Aug. 4
Area north of Sterl Hall between the National Guard Armory and the Large Livestock Arena (View map)
*Carvings will be auctioned at 2 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 5, Large Livestock Arena
About the Artist
Gary will use several chainsaws (and a few other tools) to produce a variety of carvings at the Central Kansas Free Fair. In approximately one hour, spectators will see a log evolve into a sculpture. Spectators will see that wood has its own natural beauty, and chainsaw carving has developed a wide appeal as an art form.
Gary strives to be creative while producing quality carvings that will raise auction proceeds for the fair. During the 2004 Iowa State Fair, Gary set a record by carving a large soaring eagle with a real flag in its talons that sold for $6,500! All proceeds went to their fair’s Blue Ribbon Foundation. Prior to carving the eagle, the large piece of sycamore standing to the side of the carving area raised a great deal of curiosity from the spectators.
Gary works with wood that is approximately 3-4 (linear) feet per carving session and runs 7-9 foot in lengths which he will cut into sections that work best for his carvings. He prefers the wood to be 18″ in diameter or a bit wider. The logs do not necessarily have to be straight as different shapes and Y-sections can be useful to add character to each carving. The wood does not have to be freshly cut, although it is best if the wood was cut within the past six months. Gary prefers Walnut, Sycamore, Siberian (Chinese) Elm, Ash, Pine, Cedar, Poplar, Basswood, or Catalpa. A limited amount of Oak or Cherry is acceptable. He avoids using extremely hard woods (such as Hickory or Locust) since they slow down carving and quickly dull blades.