SPECIAL REPORT: Behind the blade of chainsaw carving


WOODLAND PARK, Colo. — Johnny Busby’s been chainsaw carving for more than a decade.

“I stared messing around with the chainsaw and I realized that it’s kind of a hot item. People like them and it sells and I can actually make a living doing what I love,” said Busby, a chainsaw artist and owner of Buzzsawbusby Local Arts.

For him, it’s a chance to give a tree another life, whether it broke in half from wind damage or was damaged by a fire.

It’s something Busby had calls for after the Black Forest Fire in 2013.

“People appreciate the fact that they don’t have to just totally do away with the tree. They can turn it into something worth keeping, worth looking at,” Busby said.

Busby can carve things like eagles, people, and even ears. But the most popular thing customers ask for? Bears!

“You know, it’s bear country and everybody loves bears. They’re kind of a cute creature and they’re just a novelty item for this area. A small bear like this, I mean I can do them in my sleep almost,” Busby said.

Busby says his favorite things to carve are eagles.

“It’s a little more artsy you know, and you can take some time on the feathering and the face. You know, a bear, you can make him funny looking or whimsical looking and people will still buy him. But an eagle has to look right, you know. It has to look like a real eagle for people who would be really interested in buying it,” Busby said.

The work keeps him busy and in business.

“A lot of times I’ll be at church and somebody’ll be standing next to me and they’ll tell me, ‘man you smell like a tree.’ But you know, at least it’s not a bad smell. I can think of a lot of worse things to be smelling like than a tree,” Busby said.

Bussawbusy Local Arts is located in Woodland Park at 19251 E US Highway 24.

He has some of his own up for sale, along with other items from 20 other artists and crafters.

Click here to view his work on his Facebook page or visit his website here. 

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