DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (WEHT) – The deadly western Kentucky tornado left behind a long path of destruction, but one Dawson Springs resident is using his talents to give new life to the damage. Life since December 10, 2021 has been difficult for Brett Cobb, a lifelong Dawson Springs resident, but following the tragic storm, Cobb saw potential within the rubble.
“They kept sending up crews to clean up the yard, and whenever they was cleaning up the yard, they kept taking wood and piling it up over to the edge,” recalls Cobb, “and I was like, ‘I’m keeping that wood, you know, I had plans’!”
Those plans included using his lifelong creative talent to make beauty from the debris. Cobb says he was always artistic and creative through school, and that has transferred into adult life. Cobb has collected tree debris from the December 10 tornado, using his talents as a chainsaw artist to make beauty from things once broken.
“All the wood I’m using is from the tornado, you know, and it’s all from debris from it,” says Cobb. “And I’m making it into something that gives people happiness in it. Because everybody’s always talking about how the trees are so shredded, and it’s just so bare, and nothing good can come from a tornado.”
Cobb is proving, though, that good can come from a tragedy. For example, his first piece of artwork came from his own tree, planted by his late mother, and damaged during the storm. Cobb carved flowers and a heart-shaped art piece from that same tree that he says gave him so many childhood memories.
“Whenever it got taken down by the storm, I had to make something out of it so I could remember my mom,” says Cobb.
Cobb’s projects range from owls to flowers and a large carving of Jesus. Cobb has seen his work improve over time, but says it is still hard for him to accept his own talents. He admits, sometimes Cobb is his own downfall by doubting his abilities.
“It’s hard for me to grasp, like really, I’m just a little Dawson Springs guy,” says Cobb, “and now people are saying I’m an artist.”
Cobb says that if the tornado never happened, he’s unsure if he would even be in this position. But now, Cobb has hopes of making this a business; an opportunity given by a storm that took so much.