Darth Vader is a core character in George Lucas’ Star Wars films franchise appearing in all the key films in recent years and has been portrayed by numerous actors. In the most recent Rogue One film this villainous part starred Welsh sporting hero, turned-actor, Spencer Wilding. In taking this role Spencer had to maintain a contractual silence, even being unable to confirm to his own family that he was acting the part until the film was finally released.
Ian Murray is a chainsaw sculptor, carving many varied subjects from timber as commissioned works from individuals and organisations keen to have his works of art. Both Ian and Spencer live in North Wales and are active communicators through social media. When Ian showcased a recent sculpture via Twitter he got an immediate tweet from Spencer commissioning a life size interpretation of the character in which he had just been recognised with the launch of Rogue One.
The challenge for Ian Murray was that the sculpture was required for Christmas 2016 and the commission was confirmed just five days before the holiday! But Ian revved up his Makita chainsaws and worked non-stop for three days to complete the challenge on time.
“Carving Darth Vader for the star himself was a bit daunting,” reports Ian. “I have owned a Makita 3500 chainsaw for three or four years now and it works very hard in my sculpting. When my other brand blew up I invested in the Makita 79cc saw which with 5.7hp really does give all the power I need. I use proper carving bars and chains and as a full-time professional wood sculptor I need hard working reliable saws. The Makita machines give me that reliability to earn a living.
“I’m really looking forward to trying the new twin 18v cordless chainsaw as soon as it is available at Morris Garden Machinery, my local Makita dealer in Rhuddlan. I think the precise trigger control of a cordless machine will be ideal for the intricate work on my fully detailed sculptures.”
Jonathan Morris of Morris Garden Machinery has encouraged Ian Murray over recent years. “His sculptures show exceptional talent and we are delighted that he uses Makita saws. We are a Makita approved PDI dealer and sales have expanded tremendously through us in the past three years. The products are excellent and very reliable,” reports Mr Morris.
Spencer Wilding is delighted with Ian’s interpretation of Darth Vader. “From being a kick boxing Champion I moved into films through fortunate contacts and had an early role in the Harry Potter films. Going to high pressure auditions for my Rogue One role proved a fantastic opportunity. When I saw Ian’s work on line I immediately commissioned his rendition of my character. I’m delighted to have this unique sculpture.”