Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 10:16 GMT, Friday, 6 August 2010 11:16 UK
Manx chainsaw carver turns dead trees into works of art
Tree Surgeon Nick Barlow with his sculpture 'The Owl'.
Nick carved 'The Owl' at St Judes from a dying sycamore tree

Tree surgeon Nick Barlow from St. Johns is more used to felling trees than preserving them.

Now he has taken up the unusual art of chainsaw carving, transforming dead trees into works of art.

From wizards to wildlife, his huge wooden sculptures are becoming a popular part of the Manx countryside.

His latest creation is a seven foot angel which will be unveiled at Mannifest on Friday 6 August 2010 as a symbol of the festival spirit.

"It is massively physically and mentally challenging, any cut could ruin the entire thing. You have to have a lot of patience, attention to detail and a bit of imagination" said Nick.

'The Angel' sculpture created for Manifest music festival
The Angel was an unwanted tree trunk which would have be used for firewood

Chainsaw art originated in America and combines the modern technology of the chainsaw with the ancient art of woodwork.

For Nick it is about conserving the natural landscape and making the most out of our resources.

Nick said: "Everyone thinks being a tree surgeon means you love cutting down trees but most of us have a soft spot for them.

"For me the carving is a progression of that. Rather than a tree coming down and being burnt it can be transformed into something new." Nick first tested his skills as an artist by carving a face into the trunk of a tree belonging to his friends Sue and Gary Quilliam.

"It gave me a big boost of confidence and they asked me to carve a wizard out of a dead oak tree in their garden."

Tourist attraction

The 12 foot high wizard now sits by the roadside in Sulby Glen and has become an attraction in its own right.

The 12 foot 'Wizard' at Sulby Glen
The 12 foot 'Wizard' at Sulby Glen is attracting alot of local attention

Sue Quilliam said: "There's been a massive amount of traffic along this road with people just coming to see the wizard. It's becoming a tourist attraction.

"I'd wanted it done for eight years but to find both artistic talent and chainsaw skills is unique. He's incredible"

Nick is hoping to put together a wooden wonderland exhibition of sculptures in time for Christmas 2010.

"It's something I would like to make my profession. I would love to do this day in day out."

Nick will perform a live carving at the Royal Manx Agricultural Show on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 August 2010.

Chris creates art with a chainsaw
05 Oct 09 |  Arts & Culture
Can't see the wood for the trees
16 Sep 09 |  Arts & Culture
'Lightning' tree turned into art
02 May 06 |  Hampshire
Chain-saw art in the frozen form
06 Aug 09 |  Arts & Culture
Mannifest set to make big return
02 Aug 10 |  Things to do


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific