DIY Network

Lisa Foster: Chainsaw Carved Bench

Episode DWDS-113

Who says chainsaws are just for chopping down trees? Meet an artist who uses this powerful tool to turn ordinary logs into magnificent works of art. Lisa Foster of Hamilton, Montana is a former model and single Mom who proves that chainsaws are not just meant for lumberjacks.

The moment Lisa saw her first chain saw sculpture, she knew she had to try it. So she tracked down the artist. It turns out she was a quick study. She took to the art naturally and is now one of the country's top talents.

Lisa's first big break into this unique art form came from a commission from a nearby resort to carve monumental works into some disease-infested trees. The Lost Trail Hot Springs Resort got it's name from being on the ridge where the explorers, Lewis and Clark and Sacajawea, briefly lost their way on their trek through the northwest.

The resort decided they'd rather not cut down the trees damaged by the pine beetle infestation but use them as artful memorials to the brave explorers. So, Lisa set to work carving large statues into these sad pines. Her crowning achievement to this commision is a 3-story carving of the American Indian, Chief Josef, who played a role in the Lewis and Clark expedition.

The sculptures are "looking out towards the mountains where they walked by." Lisa explains, "You start wondering a lot about what they went through."

For this project, she's returning to the chainsaw sculpture that sparked her interest in the art - a sturdy bench made from Ponderosa Pine Logs.


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