Naselle Man

Naselle Man: If He Only had a Heart

If H e Only had a heart
By Nancy Butterfield, The Daily News

Jul 26, 2002 - 10:00:00 pm PDT

NASELLE --- Naselle Man is definitely not someone a hiker wants to meet on a quiet walk in the woods.

Visitors to the Finnish American Folk Festival this weekend in Naselle will be able to meet Mark Scott's 8-foot, 500-pound kinetic sculpture of Naselle Man, safely chained to a fence.

It would take a really long extension cord for Naselle Man to get very far into the woods, of course, but with a chainsaw-blade arm and multiple moving parts, including a bicycle pump circulatory system, a casual stroller would be able to hear him coming from far away.

Scott, 36, is Pacific County's senior geographic information system analyst. He lives in a home he built on the northern Long Beach Peninsula and said he has had a lifelong interest in all things mechanical.

With a master's degree in geography from Portland State University under his belt since June, Scott said he often needs to get away from mapping and computers. Cobbling together Naselle Man from bits and pieces of discarded logging equipment fulfills that need.

"The logging industry leaves a past behind it," Scott said. "I think of it as an evolution of a species. What would a community of loggers turn up as these days with the equipment they need on the job? I find pieces here and there, in the backs of pickups, in tool boxes, discarded wedges, shocks from crummies, bits and pieces of the timber industry."

He begins his sculptures with no plan. "I start at the bottom and work up," he said.

Scott, who admits he "loves to weld," used mesh from equipment at a Naselle rock pit, plating from a log truck chain box, torsion bars, a drive line, his grandfather's old hand drill, gears, a grille from an ancient Ferguson tractor and many belts to create Naselle Man. When Naselle Man's on-button is pushed, everything moves, from the inside out, and often at odd angles.

"Naselle Man can go through the woods and cut everything in his path, he has everything he needs," Scott said.

Bobbing under a hard hat and wearing glasses, Naselle Man's head is a plaster sculpture his mother created of her husband, Paul. "The funny part is," Scott said, "everyone says he looks like a guy who lives in Naselle."

Next on his agenda is a sculpture tentatively called Astoria Man, representing the fishing industry and outfitted with "large nasty harpoons for arms."

"My niche is to represent people and occupations and tie into a sense of place. For a geographer that's important," he said. "I'm fascinated ... how humble metal parts can be connected to do certain things. I see it as a mosaic.

"The parts have been used, lived their lives, discarded and reassembled into a new thing that will be around forever."