VIDEO: Meet the Taghum Moai Man

Nelson chainsaw carver Ken Muth created monolithic visage

At first Hugh Croxall wasn’t sure what to do with the remains of a towering Ponderosa pine that toppled on his Taghum property a few years ago, but he was convinced there had to be a better solution than chopping it up for firewood.

Then one day he had a vision: he would enlist his friend Ken Muth to carve him an Easter Island-inspired visage in the trunk, something for visitors to marvel at for years to come.

“I’ve produced a number of pieces of wood for Ken over the years, because he likes turning wood into sawdust, and I decided he could probably do something with this stump in situ,” he told the Star.

“I recalled seeing Easter Island statues made out of big cylindrical pieces of stone, so when I saw a big cylindrical piece of wood I thought ‘Ken could make a Taghum Moai.’ And he just ran with it.”

The pair have been friends for decades — Croxall spent his career working as a veterinarian for the Nelson Animal Hospital, while Muth was a surgeon at Kootenay Lake Hospital — and this isn’t the first time they’ve worked on an idiosyncratic project together.

“We’re both surgeons, and neither of us is normal,” Croxall said.

For this project they used a front-end loader, and then scaffolding, to get Muth up to eye level with the trunk so he could carve out the nose and face. The 80-year-old retired surgeon, who is well known in town as an art enthusiast, then spent hours upon hours chainsawing away.

The resulting figure, which is just downstream from Grohman Narrows, is visible from the opposite bank of the Kootenay River. It’s nestled amidst other trees, with turkeys and sheep grazing nearby.

So how does Croxall feel about it, now that it’s finished?

“I think we should’ve made it bigger.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Not business as usual as Nelson slowly reopens

Local owners talk about the pandemic has changed how they operate

City of Nelson takes over farmers’ markets from EcoSociety

Markets start June 13 and will be run by the Nelson and District Youth Centre

School District announces Rick Hansen Foundation difference-maker award winners

Creston student Alexis Folk and Nelson teacher Chris Mieske recognized by the Rick Hansen Foundation

Nelson offers financing for homeowners to purchase electric bikes

Loan payments will be applied to hydro bills as part of the EcoSave home retrofit program

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read