Almost every material imaginable can be transformed into a work of art, but it would take skill to do so. This chainsaw artist from Romania is one of those talented people who can turn wood—his chosen medium—into anything he wants it to be. His carving designs are going viral online!
Gabi Rizea only began wood carving designs in 2014, but his knowledge and skill in carving wood using a chainsaw have significantly grown over the last years. He can take a piece of wood and mold it into exciting new shapes while showcasing the material’s best qualities. His work as a forest engineer also probably helped him hone this talent and produce impressive results.
His latest piece called Apa—which means water in Romanian— depicts a pail with water flowing down onto a tree stump. Rizea made this piece of art from a rotting ash stump he found in the woods. Finishing it became more challenging as insects were beginning to eat away at the rotted stump. However, this setback didn’t stop this brilliant artist from crafting a spectacular sculpture. Now, the stunning artwork is displayed in a children’s park in Craiova, Romania.
When asked about where he got the idea for the Apa, Rizea told My Modern Met: “I don’t know, in my mind sometimes I have some images. When I work, it’s me, the log, and God.”
Before getting started with the intended design of a sculpture, Rizea has his fun with the wood. In this piece below, he carves a person’s face on a tree trunk.
With Apa, Rizea was able to transform the hard and rough wood into a silky surface. The wood carving design appears to be smoothly flowing down, and its natural grain provides extra movement and structure to the “water” that is pouring out from the bucket. The water then unites with the base of the raw stump, with one of its sections almost touching the ground.
The 42-year-old artist discovered his talent for woodcarving accidentally. Years ago, he bought himself a new chainsaw and tried carving a human face into a block of wood just for fun. Surprisingly, what he came up with looked pretty good. He kept working on a few more pieces until his neighbors began requesting his artwork.
Now, the local authorities in his home city of Craiova allow him to work on old tree stumps all over the local parks. His art is seen and adored by many people in his neighborhood.
His works have been gaining a lot of attention online and have captured the interest of other cities in Romania. Rizea has been invited to create sculptures for parks in Timisoara and Slatina.
Although he has mastered the art of woodcarving, creating new pieces still comes with its difficulties.
“I sometimes make sketches of the designs I want to carve, but in 99% of cases, the wood just doesn’t match my ideas.”
“Because I have to work with old, highly deteriorated wood, I first have to remove all the rotten parts, and sometimes, what’s left isn’t enough for my designs.” the artist said in a recent interview with CVL Press.
Equipped with his chainsaws, chisels, and a grinder, it takes Rizea about two days to finish a piece. He plans to attend art school to further expand his skill and learn more about the intricacies of woodcarving.
Check out more of Rizea’s amazing artwork in the gallery below.
Gabi sculpted this fierce-looking eagle bench in April 2019.
This massive “Lion of Banie” was crafted out of a black poplar log for football fans supporting the local football club in Craiova.
Below is the “Half of a Sin.”
A woman coming out of the tree.
Follow Gabi Rizea on Facebook to see his latest wood carving designs!