BANGOR – When a 300-year-old ash in Stephen and Tabitha King’s dooryard died a few years ago, she started thinking about a way to transform it into a symbol of the family’s life and livelihood.
Accomplished novelist Tabitha King asked a chainsaw artist to create the book-writing family’s circle of life out of a 15-foot tall ancient tree trunk in her yard.
She said Friday in a text that the sculpture is “a way of saying the tree is the source of the book and the shelf and remains in them.”
Tabitha King asked her sister and former Fairmount School art teacher, Stephanie Leonard, to help find an artist and she found Josh Landry from North Anson.
“Tabitha emailed me and it was like, ‘Whoa’ because years ago I told my wife … It’d be cool to have one of my carvings in their yard,” Landry said Thursday while preparing for the snowstorm.
Landry started carving in March and is nearly finished.
“I’m right there. I’m just fine-tuning everything. Putting in the small details, feathers, eyes things like that,” he said.
This is the description Tabitha King gave Landry of her idea: “What I want is a bookshelf, with a few books leaning on shelves, one opened flat, spine up, as if someone has left in mid-read. A corgi curled up at the base, a cat on one shelf, and the living branch growing out of it. The books on the shelves should have bookmarks sticking out of them.”
“It’s about 98 percent chainsaw. Really pride myself in doing as much as I can with the chainsaw,” Landry said.
Bill Cowan, a Bangor resident who walks on West Broadway, is among the hundreds who have been watching the artwork come to life.
“It’s been really cool to see it evolve the way it has,” he said.
Landry said he especially enjoyed carving out the bookcase.
“That was cool because I don’t carve a lot of stuff like that where things are symmetrical and linear so that was exciting, and on the backside I’m doing a dragon that was really cool,” he said.
The chainsaw artist said the wood trunk had a unique feature that will add to the final product.
“It was tricky a little working with it because it was hollow. But I was so excited because I can’t wait for the lighting to go in.”