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Sculpting wood for charity

By Staff
FAIR ATTRACTION R.D. Coonrod uses a chain saw to sculpt a bear from a cedar log Friday at the Queen City Fair. Coonrod's sculptures will be auctioned at 6 p.m. today the last day of the fair's nine-day run. Photo by Lynette Wilson / The Meridian Star
By Lynette Wilson / staff writer
Oct. 5, 2002
R.D. Coonrod is a sculptor. His chosen surface is a cedar or pine log. His tool, a chain saw.
He took to hand-carving wood as a Boy Scout a skill, he said, that has helped him as a chain saw sculpting artist.
At 6 p.m. today under the tent at the Queen City Fair, Coonrod's sculptures will be auctioned off for charity. The second annual fair closes its nine-day run today.
Coonrod's sculptures all made in 30 minutes or less during demonstrations at the fair include eagles, bears, dogs, birds, American Indians and cowboy boots.
After taking first place in the national wood sculpting tournament two years in a row, 1994 and 1995, Coonrod formed Log Hoggers Inc. and took his wood-sculpting talent on the road.
He and his seven chain saw artists spend seven months a year performing at fairs and other events around the country and have raised more than $2 million for charity, Coonrod said.
Len McRae, Queen City Fair organizer, said Log Hoggers is one of the fair's more popular attractions.
Coonrod, dressed in a blue shirt and blue-jeans covered by Kevlar chaps, used a John Deere chain saw to sculpt a bear from a cedar log.
When asked what he likes to sculpt best, Coonrod said, "that's a difficult question."