Commssioning Unique Chainsaw Carving Christmas Gifts

It’s always great when a client appreciates your work enough to return for another sculpture. Even more so when they enjoy it enough that they want to gift it to others! That’s what happened with one private client I’ve created sculptures for in the past. And so, over the last few weeks, I’ve been working on some pretty unique chainsaw carving Christmas gifts…

A photo of a sculpture of two kittens playing with a small ball of wool. the sculpture is made from oak by chainsaw carving artist simon o'rourke and are part of a series of cat sculptures commissioned as unique chainsaw carving christmas gifts. in the background is a stone wall, and a glimpse of a stihl chainsaw and coat.

Commissioning Art as a Gift

If you read blogs about gift-giving (must admit, it’s not my cup of tea!), they seem pretty divided about art as a gift. I realise this might put someone off commissioning a chainsaw carving sculpture as a gift. Others fully recommend it though, and I tend to agree.

Those who advise against it often talk about art being personal and interior (or garden!) design being intentional and suggest that giving art puts people under pressure to have something on display that doesn’t fit with their aesthetic.

This can certainly be true, BUT….

a close up of a cat sculpture created by chainsaw artist simon o'rourke out of wood. the photo is in the blog as an example of unique chainsaw carving Christmas gifts he has made.

Reasons to Commission Unique Chainsaw Carving Gifts

Despite concerns about taste and preference, with some consideration, a piece of art can be a wonderful gift. Art is often something of a luxury and something a person wants but may not justify spending the money for themselves when there are practical things like food, mortgage, car repairs etc to cover. So a gift of art can be even more appreciated as it can be something that seemed unattainable.

It’s also easy to overcome the question of taste and preference:

  • Pay attention during the year to things your friends and family say. It’s amazing how many clues there are sometimes!
  • Consider if there’s something that’s meaningful to them such as a place, person, pet or area of interest. Commissioning a piece of art that reflects what’s important to them (such as these pet portraits and Sri Lankan lion retirement gift sculpture) is usually pretty safe.
  • Consider if there’s something that will remind them of you, and thus have meaning/sentimental value.
  • Look what else they have around the home and garden; the subject, style and colour palette.
  • Find an artist who will ask questions, bring ideas and work with you to create the perfect piece

Photo of a small chainsaw carved fox sculpture by simon o'rourke

A Series of Animal Sculptures as Unique Chainsaw Carving Christmas Gifts

Now we’ve explored art as a gift, let’s get back to this week’s sculptures!

I’ve created several sculptures for this client in the past, including the Hydra, Oak Maiden, and Oak Father sculptures. This year she approached me to create unique sculptures that she could give as Christmas gifts. She loves cats, hares, and foxes, so I’m working on a series that includes all three, as well as some ravens. Thinking back to how you can make art a gift that’s appreciated, any British wildlife is a pretty safe subject for someone’s garden, and both the animals and the concept of chainsaw carving sculptures have a strong connection for the recipients with the gift giver.

chainsaw carving sculpture of a pair of hares standing on their back legs. the sculptures were created as a series of unique chainsaw carving christmas gifts

Make It Unique!

Something I was very aware of was that to have more meaning, the gifts needed to be unique. That meant not just replicating the same piece for each person, and rather, getting creative about creating different ‘stories’ for each sculpture. As I mentioned in my blog with tips for carving big cats, the internet (especially a basic google image search or Pinterest) is a GREAT place to start your research. Thankfully, the internet is pretty well-known for its cat images so I was able to find more than enough pictures as my reference!!!

Having worked with the client to establish the subject and found inspiration for lots of stories/poses that would make the sculptures unique, it was just a case of dusting off the chainsaws and getting down to making 25+ sculptures! This leads me to the final point to consider when commissioning unique chainsaw carving Christmas gifts (or any art!)…

chainsaw carving sculpture of a cat lying on its back and stretching out

Think Ahead!

We all joke about Christmas starting earlier and earlier, but the reality is, if you want to commission art, there can be a long lead time for the artist, and you’ll need to think ahead. A popular artist can fill their schedule very early on, especially if the pieces take days or even weeks to make. Please help them out by contacting them as soon as possible to discuss your ideas. It may be that they don’t book your piece into the calendar until nearer the time, but much better to do that and for you to be able to have your desired piece than find out it’s too late.

In the case of unique chainsaw carving Christmas gifts made by me, I’d suggest contacting me in summer at the latest, especially if you want something on a large scale, whether that be size or number of pieces. Basically though, it’s never too early to start the conversation!

garden sculpture of two cats playing. made by simon o'rourke as part of a series of unique chainsaw carving christmas gifts

Commissioning Your Own Sculpture Gifts

I hope those tips have been helpful to you in considering giving art as a gift. I also hope you’ve enjoyed a glimpse into this current collection of sculptures that will be going under Christmas trees this year!

If you’d like to commission any unique chainsaw carving Christmas gifts from me (or gifts for any other occasion!), please contact me at As I said, it’s never too early to start the conversation!