Watch your fingers! Chainsaw-wielding Manchester artist creates delicate sculptures using vicious power tool

By David Keane

Sculpting is a skill that requires finesse and a deft touch.

So when you look at Manchester artist Karl Macauley’s works it is hard to fathom how they could possibly have been created with a chainsaw.

For the last 10 years Karl has been creating sculptures out of stone and more recently began to create his works out of wood with power tools.

“I learnt how to use a chainsaw on the job, I have always been carver and I just started practising. It feels like a paintbrush,” Karl said.

“I have been an artist all my life and I originally started out carving stone, but then the wood followed.”

Karl’s progression has taken him through a variety of creative methods and his focus is now on creating detailed sculptures for inside and outside the house.

“I have always been a really good all-round artist,” he added.

“The detailed bits are very tricky, because you can’t make a mistake and just stick it back on again.”

The sculptor’s hope is to continue getting paid for creating all kinds of pieces which allow him to indulge his artistic flair.

“I love what I am doing. In the future I would love to have lots of my sculptures all around Manchester.

“I really enjoy doing figurative works because I like to take on a challenge.

“The sculpture of a woman’s torso was made out of Ashwood from Alexandra Park and I used an angle grinder as well as a sander to get that really nice finish.”

After learning to carve with a chainsaw Karl is making the most of his talent by creating unique sculptures exactly how customers want them.

Karl said: “Most people tend to have something in mind, or I show them some of my drawings which are really good and they choose from there.

“My works start from around £500 and the most expensive one I have done was about £1500.

“With my stone carving and wood carving I do a lot of figurative work.”

The popularity of wooden sculptures is continually growing and Karl hopes that some of his next works will relate to the city he is from.

Karl prides himself on producing works quickly and his usual turnaround for any piece is between just one and two days.

Manchester born and bred, Karl has built up an array of clients in the city

“I get most of my customer through word of mouth, in Manchester quite a lot of people know me and recognise my sculptures.

“My favourite place where my sculptures are displayed is in the Peace Garden in Moss side where I have three.”

Karl runs a Manchester sculpting business but said he would travel all over the country if a customer wanted him to create something specific for them.  

He told MM: “I’d love to do anything which relates to Manchester. If someone asked for something like that it would be great to do.

“Carving has definitely got more popular recently, there aren’t many of us out there, but it still quite a niche market.”

To look at more of Karl’s works go to

Images courtesy of Karl Macauley, with thanks

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