Chain saw art created by Chaz Chiafos for his brother Austin Chiafos from a red cedar tree split by lightning. One bear is holding up the mailbox and the other is climbing the tree to get honey from a bee hive. BONNIE FUSSELL

This is the first in a two-part series on unusual mailboxes in the area.

When lightning split a 30-foot red cedar tree in half near Austin Chiafos’ mailbox, he looked at it as an opportunity rather than the loss of the tree.

Chiafos has a brother who owns a chain saw art business, and he contacted him to see if he could carve something artistic into what remained.

Chaz Chiafos agreed that there was enough left of the tree to create a piece of chain saw art. The brothers work together well even though they live in different states. Austin had helped Chaz with a project recently, so it was an exchange of labor for the brothers.

When Chaz arrived to do the art work, all the instructions he was given was to include a bear in the chain saw art.

Austin said, “I went to work that morning and when I came home, it was finished.”

Chaz got into chain saw art on somewhat of a whim. He and his friend, Cody Ruemler were hanging out one evening and they began scrolling through Facebook. An eagle carved with a chain saw caught their attention.

Chaz decided he could do that and shortly after finding a log, he began carving an eagle in his barn. Soon he had produced a beautiful 7.5-foot eagle and Indiana Carvings was on its way to becoming a thriving business with calls coming in from everywhere for chain saw art.

The carved eagle is mounted on his truck bed and has become a great advertising tool.

Chaz said, “I stay busy. It’s like meditation and very peaceful. I enjoy this and I don’t feel like I’ve worked all summer.”

The chain saw sculpture not only included a bear; Chaz was able to include two bears in what remained of the split cedar tree. One bear is holding onto the mailbox and the other is climbing the tree to get to a honey bee hive.

Chaz lives in Indiana and his work can be seen on his Facebook page under the same of his business, Indiana Carvings.

Austin and his wife Cassie moved to the Cottontown area about two years ago from Indiana after living in Franklin, Tenn. for a few months while she attended jewelry school. She makes specially designed engagement rings for family and friends. Austin owes Visionary Environmental Solutions. His web page is

Austin explained that he and his wife had the art done to bring joy to people as they drive by and to them each time they pull into their driveway.

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