With this story, I'm diving into another opportunity to lament my lack of artistic ability. Sigh. cr

As I've mentioned, everyone in my family could draw, paint, sew, cross-stitch, or sculpt. You name it. But not me. I had to wait until the Microsoft Paint program before I could spread my wings artistically. Of course, that'll never be making a quilt, an article of clothing, or a mural. And we can forget about sculpting.

I think I have more in common with the world champion chainsaw carver; I wasn't a half-bad industrial arts student. I mean, I still have a wooden key holder I made when I was 12. I say that counts for something.


But Breckinridge County's Abby Peterson is WAY beyond key holders and lamps. (I made one of those two; it was far less successful.) That's because he has been named the winner of the 2022 Chetwynd International Chainsaw Carving Championship--what Abby calls the "Super Bowl of woodcarving."

Abby and his wife Nikki have more images of their work displayed on their Facebook page which is also the page of their business, Woodlife Sculptures.

I have watched ice carvers in person, and it blows me away. But it also makes me a little sad. They put so much skill into creating minute details, only to watch the sculptures melt within hours. Or maybe they don't stick around to watch. I could understand that.

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But I've only ever seen the finished products of woodcarvers, and they are mindblowers most of the time. Like these, for example...

It's called the "world championship" because carvers from all over the world make an annual trek to Chetwynd, and the townsfolk can't wait. In the same way Calgary, Alberta, Canada gears up for the Calgary Stampede or Louisville sets aside an entire week for the Kentucky Derby, this tiny British Columbia town and its citizens get set for an enormous chainsaw carving event every June.


Are you a woodcarver with an eye toward something bigger? Well, there are plenty of ways to get started on your next step toward chainsaw carving. Michelle Thevenot at PopularWoodWorking.com has a "beginners" guide to the art form that begins, as it should, with "safety first."

In order to MASTER this first step, Michelle actually took an entire chainsaw apart and put it back together in order to familiarize herself with the instrument. She's already better at it than I ever will be.

She also suggests that you start small with basic shapes and anchor your work. Also--and this seems like a no-brainer, but it might also be something that folks don't pay close enough attention to--taking good care of your medium is of utmost importance. If you find a crack, for example, you're done.


Now, if you want to see a large collection of chainsaw carvings, but can't make the "quick" drive to British Columbia, then you should head to Pennsylvania whenever the Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous is held in Ridgeway. So impressive.

Congratulations to Kentucky's own AND Breckinridge County's own Abby Peterson. It's always nice to have a world champion in the tri-state.

[SOURCE: Louisville Courier-Journal]

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