Chain saw artist Scott Hanson at his custom carving amusement park and gift shop in Sterling
Underneath the bark of many of the beatle killed trees on the Kenai Peninsula is an animal or caricature waiting to come to life at the hands of Scott Hanson’s chain saw. Specializing in animals native to the arctic north, Hanson has created a one-of-kind carousel at his town of living trees and gift gallery in Sterling as well as many figures of bears, salmon and eagles that grace the entry ways of businesses and homes throughout Alaska. “I just gave it a try one day to see what I could do with my chain saw, and one thing led to another and now the chain saw is my main tool for all the work that I do,” says Hanson who only studied art in High School. Three years ago Hanson started sculpting with his chain saw in ice the same way, and since has won many awards and ice carving championships. Alaska’s cold winters and pure water forms ice quickly and densely giving it a slight glacial blue tint so clear that a person can read a news paper through a four-foot block of ice. During the Peninsula Winter Games in February Hanson crafted many figures in ice around the Central Peninsula with the hope they would last for the Arctic Winter Games. However, above average temperatures melted most the ice figures that ranged from leprechauns to figure skaters and angels.
Only a couple of miles from Soldotna toward Anchorage Hanson’s Custom Carvings and Uncle Lloyd’s engraving and gift shop has become a tourist destination for visitors to the Kenai Peninsula . The unique wooden carousel actually runs (temperatures permitting) and is the only one of its kind in Alaska, “My partner John Iverson and I were talking about the idea one day and the next thing we knew we were building it and that’s about how it came to pass,” said Hanson. The carousel provides great photo opportunities and is an original Alaskan work of art.
Sandy Bullock with the caricature of Uncle Lloyd carved by Scott Hanson in Sterling
Next door to the carousel at Hanson’s village of living trees is a most intriguing custom laser engraving shop known as Uncle Lloyds. The Hanson carved caricature of Uncle Lloyd welcomes young and old to one of the friendliest places around. Inside the log building you’ll find a variety of Alaskan art, birch wood bowls, carved tables, laser engraved pins, ornaments, and photo frames just to mention a few of the unique crafts at Uncle Lloyds’. Formerly known as Mackey Lake Engraving, owners Alvin and Martha Pierce moved the business to Sterling last year and decided to name the store in memory of Alvin’s late uncle who had left them an inheritance that allowed them to move the business out of their garage to their new building in Sterling. A caricature of Uncle Lloyd carved by Scott Hanson now welcomes visitors from around the world. For more information call 262-7456.
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