ENGLEWOOD — Two years ago Greg Henry, a master woodcarver from Springfield, turned a cut down silver maple tree in front of the Mantra Paws Pet Grooming Salon on Taywood Road into a “dog totem pole” that quickly became an Englewood landmark.
It took Henry about a month to carve the totem pole, which he completed in February 2016. On Wednesday he returned to perform some refurbishing work on his creation. He knocked off fungus that began growing at the base of the pole and applied new shellac to protect the carving from the elements.
He and his wife Debbie own Wild Thingz Art Studio, so named as Henry specializes in wildlife carvings.
“Mantra Paws actually came up with the idea and I just worked with it,” Henry said.
He made a clay sculpture of the dog totem pole first before beginning the actual carving work.
“I made it out of clay first because there are a lot of details involved with all of the different dogs on this totem pole,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 24 years so I kind of have a good idea of what to do. The wood kind of tells me right away what needs to be done.”
Henry said most of his work is not as visible at the Mantra Paws dog totem pole.
“You don’t get jobs like this on the side of the road all the time,” Henry said. “A lot of my work is on private residences in back yards.”
He has done many carvings in the Springfield area, including carving at Wittenberg Park and at Veterans Park he carved a big eagle for the parks department.
“This is the first type of business carving I have ever done and since it is so close to the road I knew it would be great for my business,” Henry added.
Wild Thingz Art Studio is located at 3316 Troy Rd., Springfield. Phone (937) 399-3234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Wild Thingz Art Studio on Facebook.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind