Jesse Green has made a living for 15 years carving tree trunks and stumps into whimsical characters and creatures.
If you live in Milford, you know Mrs. Pine.
If you live in Bellingham, it's Paul Bunyan; in Holliston, Casey at the Bat. Memorial School in Medfield has "Moose" and "Duck."
Now, his finesse with a chainsaw will put his creations in front of a national audience.
National Geographic Television this week will begin airing "American Chainsaw," an eight-show series that focuses on Green, his crew and family in Medway. The first 30-minute episode airs at 10 p.m. Thursday, immediately followed by the second episode. (The reality show follows "Rocket City Rednecks.")
He's already seen the episodes, and is happy with the result. Some people have compared it to "Cake Boss," another reality show that follows a business owner and his family. But Green hasn't seen that show, or most of the reality shows on TV.
"There's no trashy, fighting, name-calling," he said. "My whole goal was to have a nice, fun show."
Green, 36, who goes by the nickname "the Machine," always dreamed of being able to make a living from his art. He accomplished that five years ago, making sculpting a full-time occupation. He first took chainsaw to log 15 years ago, following an instinct and a love for the medium of wood.
His formal education came at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where he gained a fine arts degree.
His work now is visible across Massachusetts, in multiple states and even a few countries. He works on-site, and in his shop in Medway, which will be featured in the show.
From hair lines to fine clothing details, like the pockets on Paul Bunyan, the carving is all done with chainsaws. He has some chisels, he said, but doesn't use them: "It's all chainsaw."
In taller works, this requires a bucket truck. Usually the client has an idea or a theme in mind, and he executes that vision. Sometimes, he comes up with the idea entirely. His completed works range in cost from about $1,000 to the $1,000s.
Many of his sculptures face roadways, including those commissioned by private clients. Others are tucked into backyards.
Some are misunderstood. Mrs. Pine, carved from a pine tree in front of Mac Med Spa and Salon in Milford, drew snickers from some town residents when it was installed. It's been repainted, but some people still think it looks like a sex toy.
Green laughed off the critics.
His work has grown in popularity by word-of-mouth, but the reality show was triggered by his website, which features a video showing his personality and his work.
The crew for American Chainsaw followed him for 32 days, as he worked on eight sculptures in the area. The filmed works include a large squirrel, carved for a family of "squirrel fans" in Holliston, as well as a dog-scultpure for the Tufts vet clinic in Worcester.
Any favorites, among the 1,000-plus sculptures now on his resume? Not really, he said. "I'm happy with the end-result for all of them. As cliche as it sounds, it's the next project."