Chainsaw master Don Mesuda: ‘There’s no mistakes in carving, just a change of plans’
Find Him Online
For more information about Chainsaw Carving by Don Mesuda, visit www.DonMesuda.com or follow him on Facebook. He will be carving next to the ice rink at Beaver Creek from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 16, and from noon to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16. For more information about Hike to the Mic, visit www.BeaverCreek.com.
BEAVER CREEK — Built like a linebacker and donning a beard full of wood, Don Mesuda speaks softly and carries a big chainsaw.
He calls the layers of wood covering him — hot off his chainsaw — “Man Glitter.”
After a career in electrical contracting, Mesuda picked up carving five years ago, the first year working by hand. From small to large, he carves animals — eagles, wolves, fish — as well as Native Americans. He also makes intricate benches that fit together without screws.
“I think you’ve got to find something in life that makes you feel good,” he said Friday, Sept. 15, at Beaver Creek before a live demonstration. “When I had my business and was successful, I thought that was feeling good until I experienced carving.”
Mesuda is carving live each day during the debut of Hike to the Mic at the Beav’, a weekend-long event with live music outdoors at 10,000 feet by Elvis Costello and Elephant Revival (on Saturday, Sept. 16), morning yoga sessions and more.
“Sunday is up in the air, I might do some seasonal pumpkins,” he said.
His tent is set up next to ice rink in Beaver Creek Village, just follow the sound of the saw — or the smell of the wood. On Saturday, he’ll be carving from 11 a.m. to noon (before the music) and on Sunday, he’ll be carving from noon to 1 p.m.
‘People Worry Too Much’
Speaking next to an intense carving of a Viking face at his tent at Beaver Creek — which he calls a “semi-self portrait” — Mesuda credits his wife, Mary Ann, for pushing him toward his new passion.
With multiple chainsaws and logs across their backyard in New York, she is happy with the madness a chainsaw brings. (Mary Ann will be handing out ear plugs during the demonstrations.)
“I embrace it. I’m happy he found his calling,” she said. “We didn’t know he could do this until five years ago.”
Mesuda knew he was hooked when he showed up an hour-late to work meeting in New York because he was picking out paint colors for his handcrafted sculptures.
“Just try things,” he said. “People worry too much about what everyone else is thinking. ‘Oh my god, what are they going to think when I post it on Facebook? Is it going to be good?’ Just let it live a little more and don’t worry about anybody.”
After all, like Mesuda says, “there’s no mistakes in carving, just a change of plans” — and lots of Man Glitter.
Entertainment & Outdoors editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and email@example.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.
Hardscrabble stopped by the Vail Daily newsroom to jam as one of their three performances in one Saturday, the last of which was at the Bonfire Block Party.