SYSK: Brian Parr's chainsaw creations - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SYSK: Brian Parr's chainsaw creations

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VINTON (KWWL) -

Brian Parr is an artist, but instead of a pencil or a paintbrush, his is tool of choice is a chainsaw.

"I've always been a woodcarver. I began chainsaw carving about nine years ago," said Brian Parr.

We caught up with Brian at the Vinton Public Library. An old ginkgo tree was severely damaged in a wind storm last July. Instead of chopping the tree down completely, it's getting turned into a stack of books.

"Brian came, he cut, he designed, we had no idea what he was doing," said librarian Virginia Holsten

Throughout Vinton, you can see Brian's chainsaw creations. From praying hands at a church to a hawk to one marking an intersection.

Brian's carved about 11 trees since the wind storm last year, but in total, he's done about 40 trees -- not just in Vinton. An ear of corn he carved is located right outside La Porte City.

"It's satisfying when you drive by and see it later. Leaving your little mark behind," said Parr.

Brian Parr taught himself this art form, learning as he goes.

"You're not taking too much off at a time, so I try to make my saw cuts count and not go crazy," he said.

Parr said he usually starts at the top, and the hardest part is getting the right proportions. Quite often people stop and admire his work.

"He has such an eye for that stuff. I would have no idea even how to begin," said Virginia Holsten.

Parr said it typically takes one day to complete a project. Once the carving is done, he burns the trees for softer edges and to add details.

Thanks to Brian Parr, dead trees are getting a second chance at life as works of art.

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