Video: Creation with a Chainsaw

"Tiki Dan" sculpted Lono, the Hawaiian god of peace and fertility, into a 40-foot palm tree in the corner of an artist's yard last week.

Kelly Tracy, former head of the now inactive IB Art Guild, recently got a warning from code compliance officer Tommy Simmons after a neighbor claimed that a tree in his yard may contain rats or vermon. 

So instead of a typical tree trimming, Tracy last week had Dan Bialk, better known as "Tiki Dan," use chainsaws and other tools to carve an eight-foot tiki statue into the base of the 40-foot Mexican Fan Palm Tree.

"Tiki Dan" has carved works of art into trees for more than 20 years. Tiki Dan first started carving with surplus wood he got from tree trimming and landscaping jobs.

"And the first one looked awful. It didn't even look like a tiki," Bialk said. "But it just takes a lot of practice."

The Hawaiian tiki in Tracy's yard is Lono, the god of fertility and peace.

Lono fits in well in the yard that includes another tiki, a wall of surfboards and a garden inside a canoe.

Tracy also created that sat in front of his home for a period of time.

After trimming the trees, Bialk sculpted Lono with a chainsaw, then used a blow torch and spray paint to give the statue more definition.

Finally, a sander is used to make the face smooth and wood finish is added to protect Lono from the elements. A stain can be used, but "Tiki Dan" said it's often best to apply a transparent coat of finish.

"Mostly I like to use clear and just let the wood come out cause after time the color of the wood will show and it will just get better with age. That's so cool about palms," he said. "It just gets more rustic and gains character over time."

Clarification: The original version of this story stated that Kelly Tracy restored Dinosaurus, when in fact the sea creature-dinosaur was an original work of art inspired by the work of Bonita artist Jerry Gauss.

Linda McDaniel September 27, 2012 at 04:30 PM
very cool! what is the address? i would like to go see it.....
Kelly Tracy September 28, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Thanks Khari, It happens ;-)
Kelly Tracy September 28, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Bay-side on 12th between Calla and Cypress Please keep in mind Tiki Lono isn't finished yet he still needs some detailing a little stain and sealer :-) BTW Tiki Dan is on Face Book he needs someone to get his photos posted and maybe a web site
Artemis Black September 28, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Good work, Tiki Dan. ;)
Daniel R. Bialk October 05, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Super job and interview!


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