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Chainsaw Sculptor Staying Busy

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The December ice storm has left months of work for anyone with a chainsaw: tree trimmers, debris removal companies, and artists. Clayton Coss is probably Oklahoma's premier chainsaw sculptor and his phone has been ringing off the wall. The New On 6's Rick Wells reports a midtown Tulsa couple is hoping he can turn a damaged pecan tree into a tribute to their son.

Bill and Chris Ford lost their pecan tree in the ice storm and thought and hoped it could be turned into something really special. They asked chainsaw artist Clayton Coss to look at it. They want it to be a tribute to their son Zeke, who died last March at age 32.

"Every Christmas we had given him a nutcracker," said Tulsan Bill Ford.

Zeke loved those nutcrackers. Bill made Zeke a nutcracker when he was 10-to-12 years old. The Fords hope Clayton Coss will be able to find that nutcracker in what's left of their pecan tree.

"We thought, with the tree, it would be a nice thing to be able to look out the window and remember him," said Bill Ford.

Clayton Coss has been carving art from trees for 21 years. He has done thousands of the carvings. Over the summer, he did a carving at Utica Square. His work can also be seen at a Tulsa elementary school. He tries to make sure old trees aren't lost forever.

"Try to make something good. That's all we can do," said artist Clayton Coss.

Coss says ultimately the tree dictates what he can do.

"Certainly the tree has its say in every sculpture," said Clayton Coss.

The Ford's tree leans a bit, so that will influence the size and shape of the image. The News On 6 asked Clayton Coss if he thought there was a nutcracker in there.

"For this situation, there'll be one," responded chainsaw artist Clayton Coss.

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