Nélson Ramos uses a chainsaw to sculpt the trunks

Burned trees used to create stunning nativity scene in Monchique

A 47-year-old sculptor from Faro is turning burned tree trunks into works of art in Monchique.

Anyone who wants to see Nélson Ramos creating his wooden nativity scene can visit his workshop which is set up at Monchique’s Largo dos Chorões between 10am and 12 noon and 2pm and 5pm. His goal is to finish the three latest additions to the scene – the Three Wise Men, the tallest standing at around 1.85m – by Sunday.

The nativity scene will then be displayed at the same spot until January 6.

“I make sculptures out of tree trunks, but I do not destroy nature,” Ramos told tabloid Correio da Manhã, explaining that he only uses trees that “have to be cut down after a storm or a fire, for example”.

He uses a chainsaw to sculpt the trunks but says that he doesn’t plan anything in advance.

“It is the wood that guides me. I am not the one making the sculpture,” he told CM, saying that “everything flows in the moment”.

Ramos is a full-time sculptor, travelling all over Portugal and Spain to showcase his craft. He has already created over 100 giant wooden sculptures as well as hundreds of works of art he has made since he was 20.

His first sculpture was created when he was just four years old using sand at the Armona Island beach in Olhão.