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Creating art with wooden logs and a chainsaw

Chainsaw artist Norman Jones of Pioneer Chainsaw Arts in Gloucester creates a wide range of wood sculptures at his home in Woods Cross Roads. An avid fisherman, he concentrates on fish, waterfowl, and other sea-related creatures, but as a hunter, he also enjoys making woodland creatures such as the occasional bear or fox or rabbit.

Jones starts each of his pieces on a wooden platform in his backyard, cutting up a log that still has the bark intact, then roughing it out with his chainsaw. He uses only cedar for his pieces, gathering the rough logs from a variety of places, including a relative who’s an arborist, a downed tree that a neighbor might give him, or even one he sees along the roadside.

“I’ll stop and ask the property owner,” he said.

The piece, whether it’s an 8-foot-tall flamingo or a one-foot wall plaque, is then hauled to a workbench on the wide front porch of his home at Woods Cross Roads, where the detail work begins. He carves and grinds fins and scales and ea...

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