Chainsaw sculptor gets reality show
MEDWAY -- When Jesse Green wields a chainsaw, it's not to clear away trees or get firewood. It's to make art.
The Medway resident has been carving wood sculptures with a chainsaw for 15 years, creating cartoon-style figures for people, organizations and businesses all around the country.
"I've always loved wood," said Green, 36, who grew up in Holliston. "I don't know who couldn't."
Now, television viewers across the country are getting a firsthand look at Green and his work as a sculptor on the National Geographic Channel's "American Chainsaw." The premiere episode aired last month.
"I tell people this was nothing short of the stars lining up," Green said of the show. "God only knows what is going to happen once it hits the airwaves."
It was about a year ago when National Geographic agreed to pick up the show, and Green said he felt every bit of the roller coaster ride that was his life in the months leading up to the premiere. The first season of the show has eight episodes, which were filmed over a 32-day span earlier this year.
The show follows Green as he works on different sculptures, as well as interactions between Green and his crew. One thing Green said viewers will see is his stubbornness when it comes to people working on his stuff.
Green said he always envisioned doing sculpting, and was a sculpting major at UMass Dartmouth. He started creating wood sculptures with a chainsaw in 1997, the first being a tiki head he made out of a log he found in Dartmouth. That was the first time he ever used a chainsaw to sculpt.
"It was love at first cut," Green said.
His regular pieces are 6 feet tall, although he does travel around the country to do larger projects. His work can be seen all around the MetroWest and Milford area.
The Paul Bunyan statue in front of the Firewood Shop in Bellingham, the statute of the plumber working on an exploding toilet on Pleasant Street in Ashland, the Casey At The Bat statue in Holliston and the police officer statue in front of the Medway Police Station are all by Green.
"The stuff I pride myself on doing, there is no formula," Green said. "I don't do realism. I'm not looking to get something to match up."
One of the show's episodes will feature Green working on a baseball bat sculpture at a Plainville athletic field complex, which at 27 feet tall breaks the record for the largest sculpture he has ever done.
"I can't believe it worked out the way it did," Green said of the taping happening when he did that sculpture.
Green's workshop, a converted garage at his home, contains an arsenal of chainsaws he uses to cut either pine or spruce logs. He said pine cuts like butter and lasts longer.
In all the years he has been doing this, Green said he has never been injured by a chainsaw, but it is something he thinks about on a regular basis.
"You have to be careful," he said. "It's something I have thought about with every cut I've made for the last 15 years."
Green admitted things are going to change for him after the show premiers, but he expects people who tune in to the show will enjoy themselves.
"This TV show is my Olympics, it is my Super Bowl, it is my WrestleMania," Green said. "If you want to do something entertaining, watch ‘American Chainsaw.' You will be thoroughly entertained. And that is a promise."
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