A Hawick wood sculptor wasn’t stumped when he was asked to leave a lasting legacy in his home town.
Mark Hume, a tree surgeon and self-taught chainsaw artist, has carved dozens of artistic creations from tree stumps, including depictions of bears, Border terriers, hawks and squirrels.
But the Hawick Museum-commissioned trio of works he has now completed in the town’s Wilton Lodge Park was one of his biggest challenges yet, says the 37-year-old.
The 7ft heron sculpture now on view at the park follows a trout carving in front of the museum and a trout-themed bench to be sited between the new playpark and forthcoming cafe.
Mark spent five days in the park turning the stump of a silver maple tree into his heron artwork, and the result is proving to be a big hit.
He said: “I worked from some photographs of herons as a guideline and gradually just worked it down with the use of four different-sized chainsaws, using the smaller saws for the detail of the feathers.
“I’ve been a tree surgeon 11 or 12 years, but I love doing the carvings. I’m happy doing a bit of both.
“The council put up some temporary fencing so I could get on with the work and for risk assessment so people wouldn’t get too close.
“People would stop for a few minutes to watch me work, and everyone was very positive. They seemed to think it was lovely.
“It was quite a challenge trying to get the beak pointed down just right, but I’m happy with the finished work, and I hope people in the town and visitors to the area will be too.
“There’s so much happening in the park with the new cafe and the play park, and it was great to be asked to create something that adds to what’s happening there, especially as it’s my home town.”
The heron should prove a visitor attraction for many decades to come, he believes.
Mark added: “There is no reason why it shouldn’t be there for decades, as long as the stump would have been there, especially if it is treated from time to time.”
To find out more about Mark and his work go to his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Mark-Hume-Tree-and-chainsaw-carving-sculpture-services-1419500108360805