Carvers Skill and Passion Shines at Lake Superior Chainsaw Sculpture Competition

Taylor Holt
Updated: August 09, 2018 06:45 PM

It was chainsaws and sawdust on Barker's Island in Superior Thursday as competitors from all over the world showed off their talent in day one of the Lake Superior Chainsaw Sculpture Competition.

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"I'm carving a bear in a log. I'm going to be doing a bench and a dragon, a couple of things," said Hermantown Native Leann Oman.

Oman was selected along with 9 other men and women to be a guest carver in the competition, alongside 10 master carvers from as far as Japan to right here in the Midwest.

"They kind of all know each other so this is old times for them, I think, but for me I feel like im jumping on the bed (just to be here). I'm like yes, this is so exciting," said Oman.

Brad Keseluk and his wife are chair people for the four-day competition. He says this year's theme is wild life so the master competitors have free range to get creative within that theme.

"Its the first time it's been in the Twin Ports. There's similar competitions regionally that we've worked for the last 7 years," said Keseluk. "They (master competitors) get a log that's 24 inches in diameter, 8 feet long and they have 23 hours to create a masterpiece carving and it will be judged.'

He says the guest carvers don't necessarily compete. They are more so there to carve for the event.

"They can carve anything they want. They don't have to stay on theme," said Keseluk.

However, for all the carvers it's a chance to show their serious skill and passion.

"It's addictive," Keseluk said.

"It's so much fun. You just start and screw up a bunch of logs and use it for firewood and then eventually you start to see something," said Oman.

On Sunday, the culmination of their hard work will earn them prizes and the satisfaction of doing something they love.

The top three winners will be picked in an awards ceremony on Sunday and after all of the sculptures will be auctioned off to the highest bidder at an auction. 

Thursday the event was free to attend. Tickets for the other days can be found on the Lake Superior Chainsaw Sculpture Competition website.


Taylor Holt

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