Cover art for podcast Austin Art Talk

Austin Art Talk

106 EpisodesProduced by Scott David GordonWebsite

The goal of the podcast is to facilitate connections with and to learn from the successes, struggles, life experience, and wisdom of the people featured, most of whom live and create in Austin, Texas. The honest conversational flow of these weekly long form interviews lends itself to some really gre… read more

1:06:52

Episode 20: Griffon Ramsey - Chainsaw Art

"That's the thing that got me excited about being creative is that you start with nothing and then something happens. We have so much power as creatives."

If you get to the point in your artistic career where you are invited to help carve and build a church and sculptures out of ice in Slovakia for three weeks, you might think you have made it. But for Griffon Ramsey it is only a part of the beginning of the next exciting chapter. After spending many years working and creating in the world of theater/film and the gaming/comic/online sphere she discovered something more entrepreneurial, challenging, physically satisfying, and ultimately a purer form of expression.

How about carving raw masses of wood into highly detailed and often elaborate sculptures, using a portable mechanical saw with a toothed rotating chain, along with many other specialized tools. Over the course of many days or even in just an hour something amazing can be created. This could play out in a secluded warehouse, a scene that epitomizes the solitary artist, or in front of hundreds of people, who live and breathe with awe and exhilaration as the story of the piece is revealed. So there is the skill and the art of creation, the performance, the experience of the onlooker, and the durable final product, a literal work of art born from a lot of hard work.

After many years of practice and persistence Griffon has reached a level where she is invited to carving events and competitions all over the U.S. and the world. This allows her to pursue the professional and artistic development she desires with a global community of piers and mentors who enjoy sharing and learning from each other. Its a community she loves and wishes to promote and encourage. So listen and learn and share!

This was such a fun conversation and Griffon’s voice is so enjoyable to listen to, she had me smiling the whole way through. We talk about her beginnings in Oregon growing up in a ghost town and discover the original childhood inspiration for her current career, Sea Gulch! She touches on her schooling and work in film and theater, her years at Rooster Teeth, and the rest of the time we cover many different aspects of chainsaw art, carving, and the life of an artist. Don’t try this at home might be an appropriate warning but you do have to start somewhere. And there are a few curse words which she does apologize for. Enjoy!


Some of the subjects we discuss:

Chainsaw art
The Fort AXT
Growing up in Oregon
Visiting her father
Creative & resourceful
Making sacrifices for art
Various carving tools & safety
School and theater
Working at Rooster Teeth
Long term projects/jobs
Reevaluating & rebranding
Entertainment & attention span
Ways artists make money
Performance art/carving events
Discovering chainsaw art
Mentors/Sea Gulch
Chainsaw specifics
A pure form of expression
Relationship with lumber
Working with different woods
Learning from a global community
World wide competitions
Slovakian ice church
Learning to carving ice
Women in the art
Making carving videos
Motivations and callings
Business side of art
Physical labor
The joy of carving

Banner photo by Brian Vogel

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