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Chainsaw art

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 10:46 UK time, Tuesday, 19 July 2011

There is so much to see and do here at the Royal Welsh that it's difficult to know what to write about but I'm finding the most interesting exhibits by simply wondering around and discovering them quite randomly (for example chainsaw wood carving, sheepdog geese-herding and a giant robot quoting lines from famous movies).

Late afternoon on Monday, I bumped into Simon Hedger who was busily hacking up large blocks of wood with a petrol chainsaw and turning them into something wondrous.

Simon with one of his wooden creations

Simon with one of his wooden creations

Simon informed me that he'd been sculpting with wood for many years but had only turned his hand to using a chainsaw over the last five or six years. It was at the Welsh Wood Festival in 2004 that Simon was first introduced to chainsaw carving whilst hand carving a wooden totem.

He soon realised he could carve much larger sculptures and also enter carving competitions all over the world and the rest, as they say, is history.

Heledd Walters from Swansea, tries out Simon's double bass instrument.

Heledd Walters from Swansea, tries out Simon's version of a double bass.

It's all quite incredible really when you look at what he's creating: intricate wooden sculptures, miniature wooden tractors, drums, ornate chairs etc and he's not shy about playing his wooden instruments either!

A small chainsaw carved wooden tractor.

A small chainsaw carved wooden tractor.

It didn't take too much encouragement for him to blast out a tune on his double-bass hybrid and bang his homemade drum sticks all over a tree-drum installation. James might pop down with his microphone later and record some of Simon's instruments in action.

So, if you're passing the axe men display (well worth a look), check out Simon's space opposite and see what he's creating today. The cut and stitches on his head were caused by a falling teepee on day one though and not by his chainsaw!


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