I’m Griffon Ramsey, a sculpture artist working out of the FORT, a unique art space I opened in Austin, Texas. Descended from a family of loggers and working class poets, pumpkin carvers and holiday window painters, scavengers who carved their own false teeth out of bone and musicians with handmade gas-can guitars- I considers myself genetically bound to be resourceful, creative, and rebellious. I grew up in Kings Valley, an official ghost town in northwest Oregon. My childhood memories are all infused with wood; giant fir forests, a whittling grandfather, enchanting visits to totem poles along the coast, and a brief gig working at a Christmas tree farm.
I have to admit, the concept of creation through destruction appeals to me – cutting out what doesn’t need to be there to reveal the things that matter. In 2011, I picked up my first chainsaw and immediately fell in love with its power, versatility, and speed. It’s a great tool for an impatient person. Wood has become my medium of choice, as it lasts much longer than the ephemeral theatrical sets and props I started my career with (not to mention it smells amazing).
I always begin with the hunt for wood, either by checking local sawmills or meeting strangers from Craigslist all alone out in the wilderness. The available material often informs the design, depending on I’m able to find. In Texas, I usually work with Eastern Red Cedar but I’ve begun to branch out with other varieties. Sometimes I sketch on paper, but more often than not I’ll sketch directly onto the wood with the tip of my chainsaw bar, pausing between major cuts to get my bearings and sketch again on the newly exposed wood. While most chainsaw artists are inspired by nature, I feel more in tune with fantasy, magic, tarot, tattoos, pop and gaming culture, as well as the various subcultures I mingle with.
Follow My Adventures!