Folks can watch the trunk of a 300-year-old oak tree be turned into a work of this weekend and next at End of the Commons General Store.
Bob Anderson, a chainsaw carving artist from Rock Creek, Ohio, has been commissioned by the store to transform the 15-foot tree trunk into a sculpture.
The carving will take place over two weekends beginning Friday. It will be completed May 25.
The focal point of the carving will be a representation of the early settlers of Mesopotamia.
After using chain saws, Anderson will detail the sculpture with hand tools.
Anderson, who is a carpenter and a master carver, began whittling and carving at age 5. He learned the art of chain-saw carving in the last few years and has worked on other smaller sculptures in the area. This will be the largest and most detailed of all his sculptures. Anderson will utilize up to five chain saws of various sizes, along with hand rotary tools such as dremels and sanders for specific detail.
When finished, the sculpture will be a centerpiece at the historic End of the Commons General Store, 8719 state Route 534. The store is open six days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (it closes at 6 p.m. Saturday) but it will be open this Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. for the carving. The public is invited to watch the work in progress and there is no fee.
End of the Commons General Store is Ohio’s oldest general store, located in the scenic Amish community of Mesopotamia. It has been continuously run as an old- fashioned general store for more than 170 years and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Kenneth and Margaret Schaden purchased the store in 1982, and the Schaden family continues to run it today.
The 15,000-square-foot retail store is lined with antiques that date back to the early 1800s. It also offers rare old-fashioned goods and kitchen gadgets.