Carving Up a Masterpiece

News & Events
July 04, 2019
Spiderman, mermaids and dinosaurs are just a few of the latest inhabitants to take up residence in Chetwynd.  

The small town in northeastern British Columbia hosted the 15th-Annual International Chainsaw Carving Championship from June 6th to 9th, which brought 12 professional carvers from as far as Lithuania, Japan, Netherlands, Australia and the United States.  

Using a chainsaw and tools, the carvers had 35 hours over the course of three days to transform an 8-foot red cedar log into a masterpiece of their greatest imagination.  

For Black Diamond's sponsored carver Ryan Anderson, from Salem Oregon, his son's dreams of sharks and dinosaurs served as the inspiration for his piece. 

Much like his son, Ryan had a fascination with animals as a kid. Growing up he wanted to be a paleontologist and his original plan was to go to university for a science degree. In high school though, he picked up a saw and started to learn how to carve.  

"I started teaching myself. One thing led to another and I never slowed down," he said. Fifteen years later and thousands of carvings under his tool belt, what was once an interest has turned into a full-time career that has taken him across Canada, the United States and Europe.  

While he says his strength is working with wood, his creativity extends to numerous mediums like clay and metals. In addition to running his own wood carving business, Ryan participates in carving shows and demos, is a tattoo artist and works as a sales rep for Mikita.  

He participated in the carving championship in Chetwynd for the first time six years ago and also carved a dinosaur that year. "I wish I could find some photos of that – the dinosaurs look a lot different! Every year you keep improving and you keep learning and growing," he recalls.  

Left: Ryan Anderson's carving in progress on Day 2. Right: Adding the final touches on the morning of Day 3. 

​All 12 pieces remain in Chetwynd and are placed on Carvers Row. There are now close to 200 carvings – ranging from animals to celebrities and movie characters –  located throughout the town thanks to the event. ​

Following the 35-hour carving marathon, carvers participated in a "quick-carve" event where they had one hour to create an item that would be auctioned off for their own profit. Black Diamond purchased the piece pictured below, which has found a new home at Sunset Prairie Lodge