MEDWAY, MA—Firefighters in town are welcoming back a guardian angel of sorts.
A wooden sculpture of a firefighter— to date unnamed, but donning a glossy black coat, grasping a fire hose and outfitted with a newly repainted "Medway Fire" cap—was donated to the Fire Department eight years ago by local resident and chainsaw sculptor "The Machine" Jesse Green.
But last winter, the sculpture was removed from its post outside the Fire Department to undergo several months of refurbishing, which included stripping the wood, adding layers of finish, sanding and repainting the original logo on the firefighter's hat freehand, said Green.
Earlier this week, the sculpture returned to "duty."
"It's a beautiful piece of art, and I think it draws attention to the station," said Fire Chief Jeffrey Lynch, noting the connection it makes with younger residents. He said the sculpture's colors were starting to fade and that the base of the statue was beginning to rot after years of water damage – but Green approached the station to repair it for free.
"We're just so delighted that he came to us and asked if he could take the statue and fix it up – and all for free," said Lynch, adding he was impressed by Green's latest work for ESPN called "The ESPN Throne." The wooden throne, unveiled earlier this year, features carved baseball bats and a Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees emblem carved on opposing sides of the throne to recognize their rivalry.
Green said the newly refurbished firefighter sculpture was "really well received" and a "bright and shiny" landmark to match the Fire Department.
"I just like doing this stuff," he said, describing himself as being "community-minded at heart" and wanting to give back through his craft, having crafted numerous standing sculptures across the country.
"(My family and I) are all very thankful for the firemen and to live in a place where we have people watching our back," Green said. "What's more important than that?"
Green, an 11-year Medway resident, graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and has been a chainsaw sculptor - a form of art that combines the modern technology of the chainsaw with the ancient art of woodcarving - for more than 20 years. He has starred on "American Chainsaw," a primetime docu-series on National Geographic that follows Green through his working process and interacting with clients.
He's also been featured in dozens of other media outlets and events, including World Wrestling Entertainment, ESPN, "Funny or Die," Bass Pro Shops, touring on The Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show and "America's Got Talent" on NBC.
The Holliston native was first inspired by the intricately-carved Disney ice sculptures he would pass by on the way to school in the morning, calling the handcrafted work "the most amazing thing ever." He relayed similar feelings about the wooden toy soldier display at Shoppers World in Framingham.
"Any type of big sculptures or landmarks were super-cool in my book," he said.
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