Carvers Travel to Superior for Chainsaw Sculpture Championship

20 carvers from around the world came for the competition.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – The sounds of chainsaws will fill the neighborhoods of Superior all weekend as the Chainsaw Sculpture Championship is being held at Barker’s Island this weekend.

Carvers from all over the world are competing in different events throughout the weekend to showcase their skills and reunite with their fellow carvers.

There are two groups within the event: there are 10 master carvers, who spend 23 hours working on one giant masterpiece, and 10 guest carvers who work on smaller pieces and quicker competitions throughout the weekend.

The participants are given white pine wood but each person was able to choose what kind of saws they wanted to use.

The carvers take this competition very seriously, as there are three from Japan and one from Ireland that came to compete and the winner takes home a cash prize, but they are all part of the sculpting community and share a close bond.

“We take part in competitions all around the world and I was taking part in a competition in Canada and I met James, and James was telling me about here and said would you come and said all the Japanese guys and Steve were all coming so I said sure okay I’ll come and I’m really happy to be here, it’s fantastic,” John Hayes, a master carver from Ireland said.

Although the guest carvers aren’t competing for as much on the line, they still love getting out there and doing what they love, surrounded by people who share that passion.

“It’s kind of neat to see the lineage and just see people, see the kids and you see them grow up, and then you see a lot of the same customers again it’s just like togetherness, with dirt,” guest carver Bess Coy said.

The championship is open to the public and people can come by and watch the wood transform in front of their eyes.

“The cool fact about this event is that you can come here and meet the carver, watch them create a finished sculpture, and then you can buy it and take it home with you because everything they make here gets auctioned off,” co-chair Brad Keseluk said.

The Chainsaw Sculpture Championship runs throughout the rest of the weekend, with different competitions happening throughout the day. To view the full schedule and buy tickets, visit their website. 

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