Artist turning tree stump into statue of City Park creator
BATON ROUGE - Burt Fleming is an artist. His canvas is a tree stump.
"Basically I carve by sight. First I start and I cut and get the head up above the shoulders then I taper it down," Fleming said.
His paintbrush is a chainsaw.
"Some places I just use the chainsaw, but I can use chisels, grinders."
This week, his inspiration is Tom Bendelow. Known as "the Johnny Appleseed of American golf," Bendelow designed the City Park golf course in 1924.
The wood Fleming is using is the stump of an oak tree, downed during Hurricane Ida.
The Central resident has been turning what would usually get thrown out into art for more than 20 years.
"I've done a 30 foot alligator...a 10 foot golfer, 20 feet in the air. I do eagles in people's yards."
Each cut is carefully made, but accidents do happen.
"If I knock the nose off, I just glue another piece of wood on there and re-carve it"
In just a matter of days, Fleming says the stump will begin to take shape. You can watch his progress near the club house at City Park.
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