Claxton man shapes wood into art with a chainsaw

Claxton man shapes wood into art with a chainsaw

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Ross Miller, of Claxton, has taken wood working to a whole new level..putting away the whittling knife and taking up the chainsaw. Ross Miller, of Claxton, has taken wood working to a whole new level..putting away the whittling knife and taking up the chainsaw.
Miller says in the past five years, he's worked around 75 pieces, from foxes to blue herons to eagles Miller says in the past five years, he's worked around 75 pieces, from foxes to blue herons to eagles
He uses a special blade and chain, which are smaller to make the narrow and delicate cuts required for this kind of work. He uses a special blade and chain, which are smaller to make the narrow and delicate cuts required for this kind of work.
Miller works from memory. He'll look at a photo, figure it out in his head and then begin to cut into the wood. Miller works from memory. He'll look at a photo, figure it out in his head and then begin to cut into the wood.
His favorite piece is a nearly life-sized grizzly bear. Weighing in at over 600 pounds, he doubts he'll ever sell it. He also likes the idea of it sitting in his front yard, standing guard over his property. His favorite piece is a nearly life-sized grizzly bear. Weighing in at over 600 pounds, he doubts he'll ever sell it. He also likes the idea of it sitting in his front yard, standing guard over his property.
By GENE PATTERSON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

CLAXTON (WATE) - There's nothing quite like the smell of a freshly cut piece of wood and nothing quite so beautiful as wood that's been shaped and sanded into a vessel or piece of art.

Ross Miller, of Claxton, has taken wood working to a whole new level, putting away the whittling knife and taking up the chainsaw.

"My father would take my work and say, 'Is that the best that you can do?'" Miller said.

As a boy, Miller used to sit in his father's wood shop and watch as his dad took ordinary wood and turned it into a work of art.

When he was old enough, Miller began working with wood as well, creating his own pieces.

"Most of them went as Christmas presents because I couldn't afford Christmas and the family would receive most of them," he said.

Twelve years ago, after years of working with chisels, knives and lathes, Miller decided to take his craft in a different direction.

"At that point I decided in my free time I needed to do bigger things. And when I did, I decided I could afford a chainsaw because whittling away with chisel and hammer was taking too long," said Miller.

Miller says in the past five years, he's worked around 75 pieces, from foxes to blue herons to eagles. He uses a special blade and chain, which are smaller to make the narrow and delicate cuts required for this kind of work.

"It's what's called quarter chain, which means the links are closer together, which allows them to go on a sharper turning radius without skipping off the bar," he said.

Miller works from memory. He'll look at a photo, figure it out in his head and then begin to cut into the wood.

His favorite piece is a nearly life-sized grizzly bear. Weighing in at over 600 pounds, he doubts he'll ever sell it. He also likes the idea of it sitting in his front yard, standing guard over his property.

"I try to make people believe that they're alive. If I haven't succeeded in fooling somebody to partially put on their brakes cause they believe there's a bear there, I have failed."

Miller says working with wood is his great escape. It can be hot and tiring at times, but he doesn't complain

"It was my peace and my relaxation, and it keeps my mind centrally focused while giving me a sense of relief too," said Miller.

More online: Bear Creek Lodge Chainsaw Carvings and Barn Quilts (Facebook)



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