'Friends Call Me Chainsaw'

Tom 'Chainsaw' Robertson

One day more than a decade ago, Tom Robertson saw a man carve a bear in a friend's backyard. That moment launched a new calling, and a new identity: Robertson soon became known to friends as "Chainsaw."

"The hair stood up on my arms and I had goose bumps," Robertson writes on his website of that first exposure to carving. "I quit my job...to carve bears, moose, eagles and benches."

He's carved everything from a six-foot bear to a 40-foot, 7,000-pound totem pole, he says. He works no matter the time of year, even if it's -10 Fahrenheit, splitting his time between a plant nursery in summer and winters at his home in Big Lake, a town in the southern part of the state.

“'Bring it on' is my personal motto," Robertson says in his bio. "If you can imagine it, I can carve it."

Robertson appears in a short film about life in Alaska, Living Free. "Alaska has made me a better person. A stronger person," he tells filmmaker Andrew Arthur Breese.

His emotion about the life he's built there comes through. "I'm blessed." he says. "Proud. Damn proud, to be honest. A man can't ask for much more. Sorry, but I take it real serious. I damn sure do."


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