Local Chainsaw Artist Makes a Big Impression
A few months ago, I was driving on Sandridge Road on the Long Beach Peninsula when some chainsaw art on the side of the road caught my eye. I quickly pulled over to take a look. As I examined the intricate carving of pelicans, bears, and octopuses, I couldn’t help but be impressed with the beautiful craftsmanship. One particular pelican carving would be perfect for my front yard. So, I followed the sound of the chainsaw in the distance to inquire about pricing. A few minutes later, the artist was helping me load it into the back of my Jeep. Every day it brings me joy to see it nestled amongst the plants in my yard.
A man named Dallas creates these gorgeous pieces of art. He’s on social media as “Clyde Dallas” because they insisted he include a first name on his profile. But everyone that knows him calls him Dallas. He has a warm handshake and genuine smile, and his passion for his work is evident. Dallas loves making a living as a chainsaw artist, and he’s been at it for over twenty years. Sure, there have been a few times he had to take on an odd job or two, but for the most part, what started as a hobby has become his career.
Dallas was born in Wyoming and raised in Idaho. His father was a chainsaw artist, and when he was twelve years old, his dad took him along to a chainsaw competition. Dallas wasn’t sure what impressed him more that weekend, the size and strength of the competing men or the sheer girth of the logs they were carving. He kept watching and learning from his father until, at 16 years of age, he did his first bear carving and was hooked! Dallas found the process of cutting the wood was as satisfying as staring at the finished piece. So, he soon made another, and another.
Dallas always wanted to explore the beauty of the Pacific Northwest because that is where chainsaw art originated. Old loggers used to pass their time between jobs practicing chainsaw art, and the craft grew in popularity over the years. So, when his cousin was doing some logging and had some extra trees, he invited Dallas to visit, check out the Peninsula, and introduce his handiwork to the coastal residents and tourists. That is how he ended up at 3517 221st Lane in Long Beach, WA.
The price of his finished pieces starts at around $200 and goes up to about $10,000. Recently, he finished a 7-foot long orca for Captain Kids Amusement Park in Seaside, Oregon. He’s been doing more and more commissioned pieces and enjoys the challenge. Do you have a large stump or bare tree that you would like carved into a stunning work of art? Contact Dallas and impress your neighbors! He’s done everything from lighthouses to otters, eagles, sea captains, fish, sea turtles, and more.
What’s the process for chainsaw art? When making a bear, he starts by blocking it out, and then he rounds it up. From there, he “hairs it out,” “feathers” it, which is a chainsaw technique that adds texture and detail. After that, he burns it, which gives it a nice brown color, pops in the eyes, and tops it off with spar urethane, making it nice and shiny. It takes countless hours of physically demanding work, but the final result is breathtaking!
What’s next for Dallas? Soon, some of his pieces will be on display and for sale at March’s Free Museum in Long Beach. You can find him on Facebook or just drop by and watch him in action.