Storm Debris Turns Into Works of Art

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GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KNSW) - As many of us have shifted to a warm weather mentality, western Kansas is still cleaning up tree branches from a snow storm last month.

Turpin took the remnants of a late April blizzard and made keepsakes. (Photo Courtesy: NBC)

But a wood worker found a creative use for some of the wood.

"There it goes. It just runs like a printer, basically," says wood worker Christopher Turpin.

Turpin teaches community college and has a wood lasering business on the side, mostly as a hobby.

This month, he's been working with fallen branches from a storm last month.

"It actually came straight from my father in law," Turpin said. "All of the wood lying around, he said, you know, you really ought to do something with that. Slice it up and make something out of it."

So that's what he did. He took the remnants of a late April blizzard and made keepsakes.

On one side, the wood says it's a relic from the snowstorm of April 30, 2017.

"And then on the back a little, just a very little bit of kind of what happened in the rain and the snow and the ice and the wind gusts and so forth," Turpin said.

Even though he has an online shop for his creations, he's been giving out these lasered branches for free.

"Friends, at work, I gave one to the staff down at Patrick Dugans, and then I ran out, so I'm in the process of making more right now," Turpin said.

He thinks if nothing else, they'll serve as a reminder of the oddly-timed blizzard.

"These will probably be around in 100 years. Wood tends to last," Turpin said.

And every piece is unique depending on how the wood behaved.

"And you can see there's a little kind of divot there, where the very core of that branch burned a little more than the rest. That's just what you get. It's great when you can make stuff and enjoy the process," Turpin said.

If you want to know how you can get your own, check out the Flint Hills Laser Studio website here.

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