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One-handed chainsaw sculptor dazzles Kentucky crowds

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Updated: 12/17/2013 12:07 pm
By Janelle McDonald
NBC News

MIDDLETOWN, Ky. -- "I'm going to be making some sawdust here in about three or four minutes," artist Joe Salyers says on a cold morning behind the "Taste of Kentucky" store.

What he's able to create using a red cedar log and a chainsaw impresses enough people that the store will sell dozens of them this year.

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"They're a very popular item, both locally and around the country," says John Hassmann, owner of Taste of Kentucky.

As shoppers rush home with their presents, Joe's Kentucky Hardwood Christmas Trees stand out both for the artistry and the artist, who started his craft late in life.

"You never get too old," Joe said. "I didn't even start doing this until I was very near 60."

More than a decade later, he wields his tools with ease even though one is missing. Joe lost his left hand in 1968 in a mill accident.

"I've learned to do a whole lot of things that most folks would say well he can't do that with one hand," he said.


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