Take that - Wrexham man carves Gary Barlow from wood

Reporter:

Rebecca Cole

MANY artists express their talent through delicate brush strokes or an exquisite eye for detail.

But Simon O’Rourke demonstrates his artistic flair by taking a chainsaw to a tree trunk.

And now he has decided to auction off one of his wooden wonders, a five foot tall ‘bobble-head’ carving of Gary Barlow, which he hopes will raise at least £2,500 for Comic Relief.

Simon, from Rhosddu, said: “Every year I choose three or four charities to support and I’ve been meaning to do something for Comic Relief for ages.

“I thought Gary was a good model as he’s done so much for the charity – he’s a national treasure.

“And I knew there’d be a good fan-base who’d be interested in bidding.”

Simon, 32, has a degree in illustration, but on graduating from the then North East Wales Institute he found there were very few jobs, so he became a tree surgeon.

Although he enjoyed his work he longed to make use of his artistic skill and was delighted when he came up with a way to combine his two loves.

He said: “I can draw and I can use a chainsaw so it was the perfect combination.

“The art is in the detail. It does begin on quite an industrial scale with a big hunk of tree trunk, but once I get down to the detail I have to use mini chainsaws and it’s much more intricate.”

Simon, who has also illustrated for children’s books and created murals for Wrexham schools such as Rhosddu Primary, has found massive success with his business and has toured the globe to enter carving competitions in Japan, Holland, Germany and America. A highlight came when he won third place at the English Open Chainsaw Competition, an international event at Sandringham where he competed against 50 other contestants from around the world.

He added: “The business has really gone from strength to strength and I love travelling around the country creating new pieces for a variety of customers.

“Somerset County Council even asked me to make a six and a half metre high sculpture for their museum.

“I’m really happy in my work and it’s great to be able to use it to benefit charity.”

- To help Simon support Comic Relief and for a chance to win the Gary Barlow carving visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/Simon-ORourke-Tree-Carving-Ltd/296782318213 to bid.

See full story in the Leader

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on

Characters left: 1500

Most Read