Chainsaw Carvers: Then & Now


Ever wondered how chainsaw carving is done before and by whom? How about chainsaw carving now and by whom?

Let’s take a closer look on some of them:

  • Ray Murphy. He is best known for carving his own name on a piece of wood using his father’s chainsaw back in 1952.
  • Ken Kaiser. He is best known for creating the Trees of Mystery back in 1961 – a series of 50 chainsaw-carved wood sculptures that illustrates the life of Paul Bunyan, a giant lumberjack in American folklore.
  • Art Moe. He got more recognized, along with the art of chainsaw carving, when he participated in the Lumberjack World Championship at Hayward, Wisconsin back in the 1980s.
  • Barry Pinske. A then 24-year-old man who won the first-ever Chainsaw Carving World Championship back in 1987.
  • Duncan Kitson. A British carver back who is best known to represent Wales and the United Kingdom in the Open Chainsaw Competition back in 1989.
  • Matthew Crab. He is best known for creating the world’s biggest wooden sculpture of the Virgin Mary, which stands at 9 meters high.
  • Harry Thomas. He is the owner of Thomas Carving. Along with son Danny Thomas, he is best known for chainsaw carving wood sculptures of bears.
  • Brian Ruth. He is best known for establishing Masters of the Chainsaw back in 1992, the first-ever booking agency for chainsaw performing art. He is known to first introduce chainsaw carving as a performing art in Japan back in 1995, as well as established a Japanese Masters of the Chainsaw branch and a chainsaw carving school.
  • Glenn Greensides. He is a Canadian chainsaw carver who is best known for creating 5-meter high wood sculptures of Japanese zodiac signs, which was done every year for 12 years starting in 1995.
  • Jen Ruth. She is well-known for creating Chainsaw Chix back in 2007, the first-ever international association of female chainsaw carvers.
  • Bob King. He is an American chainsaw carver who is best known for his Star/Sprocket Award on the Carvers’ Walk of Fame in Germany, which attests to him winning carving competitions more than any other carves out there.
  • Josh Landry. He is another American chainsaw carver who is best known for his first place award in the Rally in the Valley Chainsaw Carving Competition, as well as the youngest chainsaw carver participant in both national and international competitions.

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The Art Of Woodworking

art of woodworking

By definition, woodworking is “the act of making things from wood.” This includes furniture making, where one makes chairs, tables, and other residential and commercial pieces; wood carving, where one uses hand tools such as chisels and chainsaw in making sculptures; wood turning, where one uses wood lathes in creating items such as rolling pins and baseball bats; joinery, where one combines pieces of wood in building houses or making puzzles; and carpentry, where one cuts, shapes, and installs raw materials in constructing buildings.

But while most people think woodworking is only limited for those in the wood industry, this act is more than a job for some. It’s also an art, a way to express one’s feelings through creativity.

Now, you might ask: how does woodworking become art?

Well, here are some ways:

  • When it’s done by hand. The fact that woodworking is mostly done by hand is proof enough: it’s an art. You only need to come up with an idea, gather the materials for it, and make your dream into a reality. The best part about it? You’re making something by your own hands. What’s more, even children can make things by hand – a perfect bonding idea for you and your kids.

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  • When it’s done patiently. Let me ask you this question: how do you think artists from before created their masterpieces? It started with ideas, right? Well, these ideas don’t come right away. It takes patience for one to come up with something great, as well as what most of us already know by heart: trial and error.
  • When it’s done for others. Just like other forms of art, woodworking is typically done for others – with other people in mind. And when that happens, woodworking becomes art itself. It becomes a part of others’ lives. Sometimes, it even becomes a part of who they are. Either way, it’s done for other people and for their lives to get easier.
  • When it’s done with your heart and soul. Be it painting or carving, forms of art are usually done with heart and soul. This goes the same for woodworking. Simply put, doing things with your heart and soul makes it a part of who you are. And with that, you’re giving a part of you to another person via the woodworking project you did for him/her.