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Turning death into art

Local man has dying trees turned into carvings

Jason Ferguson
Published: Thursday, October 31st, 2013

 

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When it gives you dying trees, make a work of art.
That’s exactly what Brendan Hendrickson of Custer did.
What were once dying spruce trees on Hendrickson’s front lawn at his Custer home are now works of art, thanks to Roy Pilcher of Bears &â��Co. of Devils Tower, Wyo.
“I hated to see (the trees go),” Hendrickson said. “When we had our blizzard, I couldn’t count the claims (Hendrickson is a claims adjuster) I had with trees on houses. These (his) trees were planted too close to the house. They could have ended up in my living room. Rather than worry about that, I thought it’s a good time to take them down.”
That led Hendrickson to call Pilcher, who knows his way around a chainsaw. Prior to becoming a chainsaw artist, Pilcher spent 20 years in the logging industry.
Pilcher said his inspiration to become a chainsaw artist began in eighth grade when he took a school trip to Crazy Horse Memorial. He wasn’t sure he could do the art, however, and didn’t try his hand at it until years later when he was promoting another carver. He decided to try his hand at it and watched his skill level continue to grow. These days, he makes a living doing it.
Not bad for a man who said he never believed he had an artistic bone in his body.
“All my high school friends can’t believe it,” he said with a laugh. “It’s pretty funny.”

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When it gives you dying trees, make a work of art.

That’s exactly what Brendan Hendrickson of Custer did.

What were once dying spruce trees on Hendrickson’s front lawn at his Custer home are now works of art, thanks to Roy Pilcher of Bears &â��Co. of Devils Tower, Wyo.

“I hated to see (the trees go),” Hendrickson said. “When we had our blizzard, I couldn’t count the claims (Hendrickson is a claims adjuster) I had with trees on houses. These (his) trees were planted too close to the house. They could have ended up in my living room. Rather than worry about that, I thought it’s a good time to take them down.”

That led Hendrickson to call Pilcher, who knows his way around a chainsaw. Prior to becoming a chainsaw artist, Pilcher spent 20 years in the logging industry.

Pilcher said his inspiration to become a chainsaw artist began in eighth grade when he took a school trip to Crazy Horse Memorial. He wasn’t sure he could do the art, however, and didn’t try his hand at it until years later when he was promoting another carver. He decided to try his hand at it and watched his skill level continue to grow. These days, he makes a living doing it.

Not bad for a man who said he never believed he had an artistic bone in his body.

“All my high school friends can’t believe it,” he said with a laugh. “It’s pretty funny.”

Available only in the print version of the Custer County Chronicle. To subscribe, call 605-673-2217.

 



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