Utah Artist Creates Highly-Detailed Art With A Chainsaw
Mar 6, 2019, 10:55 PM
PROVO, Utah — An artist’s touch is thought to be delicate.
So it might surprise that the extremely-detailed carvings crafted by Damon Gorecki are largely created with a chainsaw.
“(I) watched a guy do it and went and bought a chainsaw and just started practicing,” Gorecki shrugged, standing next to a large bench themed after the American West.
15 hours of practice per day and 9 years later, the former welder has developed a name internationally with his larger than life wood carvings and sculptures.
He has recently competed in contests in Great Britain and took third at a world championship logger sports event in Canada.
“You know, he’s just an amazing artist,” said Gary Cross, who is collaborating with Gorecki on Gorecki’s latest project. “He’s got it in here—he was born with it, you know.”
Gorecki said he actually has no preset plan, blueprint or sketch that he draws from in creating his art.
“I try not to plan anything—I like to go in and just let the wood tell me what it wants to be,” Gorecki said. “I’ll get rid of everything that’s bad and then look for shapes. Once you start finding shapes, you can add designs and just try and make everything flow.”
Cross said he is continually impressed by what Gorecki sees out of tree stumps and large pieces of wood.
“It’s just very interesting to watch, you know—that creation happening in the moment,” Cross said. “It’s like the wood, certain wood, you know—it has a description of what’s going to happen to it, and as you go deeper into it, it’s like it reveals something you didn’t even imagine was there.”
Gorecki, who also operates under the business name “The Barefoot Carver,” said his larger pieces now sell for tens of thousands of dollars, allowing him to spend more time with his family.
Cars regularly stopped by his worksite in Provo recently to watch Gorecki in action.
One driver called the art “divinely-inspired” and said that it made her heart happy.
Michelle Shuman, who stopped by with a coworker, heaped on similar praise.
“He’s been watching them build it all week long and he wanted to show me and I think it’s gorgeous,” Shuman said.
Gorecki said he hoped his artwork—which can take anywhere from days to months to complete—inspires others to explore what is possible in their own lives.
“If you see something you want to do—do it,” Gorecki said. “You learn the tools, you learn the media, there isn’t really anything you can’t do.”