L-169 retiree crafts art with chainsaw

Jim Denkins, Local 169

Wood carving takes Denkins around the world

A WOLFMAN PEEKING around a tree, an Indian brave lifting an eagle, a gnome surrounded by wildlife — these are some of the amazing creations of L-169 (Detroit) retiree Jim Denkins, an artist who brings ideas to life with a chainsaw and wood.

Denkins has competed around the world in exhibitions and is nationally known as one of the top chainsaw sculptors. Earlier this year, he entered his gnome scene, titled “Edge of the Forest,” in the 2012 Artprize competition in Grand Rapids, Mich. The competition offers a $200,000 first-place prize and is open to every type of art imaginable, from dance and singing to living statues, to wood carving. Winners are determined by a “people’s choice” vote.

“If any of our members happen to be in the Courtyard by Marriott at the downtown civic center, they can see my work, and I would appreciate their vote for my entry,” says Denkins, who retired in April after 38 years as a Boilermaker.

Denkins says he began carving gifts for family members some 25 years ago and discovered that he had a knack for life-like creations. After rough-cutting his art, hand tools are used for detail work. In addition to sculpting from wood, he also creates ice carvings.

More information about Denkins’ work can be found at www.denkins.net.