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La Porte woman uses chainsaw to carve J.J. Watt wooden statue

HOUSTON – Della Meredith of La Porte has turned her love for art into a business carving wooden sculptures with a chainsaw.

Meredith,40, taught art in the Splendora and Humble independent school districts for a combined eight years. She said she loved teaching art and working with children, but she wanted to start working on her own pieces.

"I started out doing a lot of painting and it kind of turned into sculpture. And just recently in the last two years, I started doing the chainsaw carving," she said.

Meredith said she wanted to start wood carving and tried different tools, but none of them worked well enough for what she wanted to create, so she got a chainsaw.

"My mom and my dad were worried about me at first. They were like, 'I don't know if you should be doing this. It's really dangerous.' But I haven't had any problems. It almost feels like it's an extension of my hands." She said she's never injured herself, but she's had several splinters.

Meredith started out carving smaller sculptures. She has done tikis, totem poles and fish.

"I used the chainsaw to cut out the pieces and then I go back in with the grinder," Meredith said. Recently, she received a request from a friend for a much bigger and more challenging project - Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.

"I think J.J. Watt is inspirational. He's an awesome player. He always takes time to notice the children, and he's a good role model for kids. He has really good work ethic and that was motivating to me to do this piece," she said.

Meredith used Cypress wood from Kenefick, Texas, for the Watt piece. It took her about four or five days to complete. She said Watt's arms were so big, she had to make them separately and attach them to the rest of the body. The piece is 5 feet tall and weighs about 80 pounds.

WATCH VIDEO OF MEREDITH CARVING J.J. WATT PIECE

Meredith posted the photo on her Facebook page, and many people were amazed by her work.

"My friend Della is crazy talented! Look at this JJ Watt she carved!" wrote Misty Forrest IIdebrando.

"You should contact JJ and give it to him. He would love this!" wrote Debbie Ragsdale.

Meredith said she would love for Watt to see her work.

"It's funny because it's like a smaller, miniature him." I would love to see his reaction or hear what he thought about it."

Watt saw the KPRC 2 story on Twitter and commented:

"There are some talented people in this world. That's crazy!"

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Carving JJ Watt

Posted by Della Meredith on Friday, January 22, 2016