While walking through the traffic and noise of San Francisco last weekend, I found an oasis of peace inside the International Art Museum of America. In their main lobby, a small stream flowed past a whimsical tiny treehouse. Granted, the house would only be perfect for fantasy creatures like gnomes or fairies, but the design captured my heart. The treehouse, sculpted out of a redwood stump, was made by chainsaw artist Steve Blanchard and is just one of his many fairytale structures.
Blanchard began chainsaw carving about 28 years ago in Monterey, California. He uses the chainsaw and various other power tools to carve large stumps into benches, furniture, large Native American figures and animals. His charming fairy homes contain faces of wood spirits, gnarled porches, curved staircases and even working windows and doors. Blanchard has made about 30 of these tiny houses, but only makes about two unique houses every year for sale and they sell for around $25,000 each. The homes make their way into woodland gardens and yards in the Sierra and Lake Tahoe, as well as museums on Market Street in San Francisco.
“I don’t like to have any straight lines in my houses,” Steve said. “There are very few straight lines in nature and I like my houses to blend in with nature and tell a story, but it has to be believable.”
Photos by Steve Blanchard Wood Sculpture and the International Art Museum of America