ST. ANDREWS, Fla. (WMBB) — An octopus, fish and other marine life may not be the first thing you expect to see on land, but thanks to the work of local chainsaw artist Chad Gainey, the sea creatures are now on display at Oaks by the Bay Park in St. Andrews.
Gainey spent six and a half days carving the 31 foot tall Live Oak tree. After drawing inspiration from the branches and carving a wooden octopus for the first time in this sculpture, he was able to work on the base.
“With the octopus being at the top, that kinda puts everything below it stuff that needs to live in the water,” Gainey said.
Gainey says each project is a journey, and it is physically and mentally straining as he works to make sure everything works together.
“It’s nice to be able to step back and see something that started off as just a dead tree you know a tree trunk standing there and say wow, that’s pretty cool and I made that,” Gainey said.
People have been stopping by the park to check out Gainey’s progress and take photos, something he says was his favorite part of this experience.
“I just hope that it makes them smile. It’s going to mean something different to everybody,” he said. “Coming by and even just giving a thumbs up … it seems like people really appreciate it.”
One of those people visiting Gainey on Wednesday was his family.
“I really like it … I thought it was really cool,” his daughter Emma said.
Emma also surprised her dad with a drawing of him carving the tree.
A cedar stump, also in Oaks by the Bay Park, will be carved by Gainey in the future. He says he wants to make it interactive and a photo op.