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Fernando Dulnuan Jr: The Igorot Chainsaw Artist in Oklahoma, USA

Fernando Dulnuan Jr., a self-taught Igorot artist based in Oklahoma, USA, is carving his name in the art world with a chainsaw, literally.

 |  2 min read

Fernando Dulnuan Jr., an Igorot woodcarver from Ifugao, is making a name for himself in the art world in Oklahoma. | Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Fernando Dulnuan Jr., an Igorot woodcarver from Ifugao, is making a name for himself in the art world in Oklahoma. Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

Fernando "Don" Dulnuan Jr., a full-blooded Igorot wood artist from Ifugao and based in Oklahoma, USA, is making a name for himself in the art world using the chainsaw as his medium.

Dulnuan uses chainsaws and recycled logs to create his unique works of art such as wolves, bears, horses, eagles, and even native American totem poles.

Fernando "Don" Dulnuan Jr. demonstrates the art of chain saw carving at the Oklahoma State Fair at State Fair Park. | Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Fernando "Don" Dulnuan Jr. demonstrates the art of chain saw carving at the Oklahoma State Fair at State Fair Park. Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

During the Oklahoma State Fair in 2018, Dulnuan's chainsaw art show drew dozens of people who watched him turn a hunk of a tree into a bear.

Fernando "Don" Dulnuan Jr. demonstrates the art of chain saw at the Oklahoma State Fair at State Fair Park. | Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Fernando "Don" Dulnuan Jr. demonstrates the art of chain saw at the Oklahoma State Fair at State Fair Park. Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

Truly, what's running in his vessels are the genes of his woodcarver forefather from the Cordilleras in the Philippines. Best known for the spectacular Banaue Rice Terraces, the "Eighth Wonder of the World", which is hand-carved 2,000 years ago by the Igorot forebears.

"In our tribe there they do a lot of wood sculptures. ... I just think my family has it." Dulnuan said.

Dulnuan said his interest in wood carving began when he moved to America. He then turned to the internet to learn more about the art of chainsaw drawing, and since then his passion for carving has begun.

"I like wood. When I see some wood lying around that says this is all free. I said, 'There's something in them that needs to come out." So, that's where I started, Dulnuan said.

Dulnuan claims he hasn't taken any formal training but taught himself to understand the craft of chainsaw carving, he discloses in an interview with The Oklahoman.

"I just trained myself. For me, let's put it this way, it's a God-given talent that right now it's showing. I don't know where it came from, but I know it came from God," said Dulnuan.

Fernando "Don" Dulnuan Jr. demonstrates the art of chain saw carving at the Oklahoma State Fair at State Fair Park. | Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Fernando "Don" Dulnuan Jr. demonstrates the art of chain saw carving at the Oklahoma State Fair at State Fair Park. Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

Among the wooden wildlife, Dulnuan has carved a few busts of cowboys and American Indians. The self-taught artist said he hopes to one day get formal training so that he can continue to branch out as a chain saw sculptor and a performance artist.

"I want to do this my whole life until I cannot hold a chain saw anymore. I like this. It's always different. I like to encourage myself, to improve myself, and do all this. I have more ideas I want to go through with the wood," Dulnuan said.

Watch Oklahoma artist Fernando Dulnuan of Don's Chainsaw Creations making his debut at the Oklahoma State Fair.



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