Chainsaw Carving Competition
by Jenny Chissus
The excitement of the competition is palpable! The noise is something you can’t ignore – and the draw to the event site each day is something phenomenal! To see our beautiful natural spruce logs turn into incredible masterpieces each year in the most beautifully situated community in Alaska is an experience that becomes an addiction! If you’ve never seen a chainsaw carving competition, or been to Seldovia – you are missing out!
The Chainsaw Carving Competition is a very special Seldovia event, which not only brings a fantastic weekend of activity, excitement, art and fun to Seldovia, but adds a flavor to our town, a growing ‘outdoor museum’ of art that enriches our community that we are able to enjoy year-round!
Recap of the 2014 Competition
This was Seldovia’s 9th Annual CICCC (Craft Invitational Chainsaw Carving Competition) which started in 2006 under the guidance and encouragement of two local carvers, Toby and Elaine Craft. (Pictured at the right) Toby and Elaine had competed before in chainsaw carving events and thought it would be a fantastic competition to host in Seldovia. There had always been the ice carving festival in Fairbanks, but the chainsaw carving of local spruce, this was the first of its kind in Alaska! Tom and Mary Glover were instrumental in gathering the committee and an amazing tradition was formed!
This year, along with two carvers from out-of-state, Jeff Samudosky from Gig Harbor, and Chris Foltz from North Bend Oregon, Toby and Elaine came all the way from Texas to be a part of our event as judges! We truly appreciated the opportunity to thank them in person for this GREAT idea – and acknowledge them for being the inspiration and the namesake of our competition! It was so good to see them again in Seldovia! Toby generously awarded our People’s Choice Winner – Jeff Samudosky, with a pair of beautiful hand carved orcas.
The Master Carvers for the 2014 Craft Invitational Chainsaw Carving Competition were:
29″ x 8’4″
35″ x 8’9″
Gig Harbor, Washington
1st Place and People’s Choice
31.5″ x 8’4″
North Bend, Oregon
35″ x 8’5″
Anchor Point, Alaska
39″ x 7’4″
With the competition this year, we have almost 50 carvings in our community, representing 9 years of competition! Some folks have referred to the masterpieces as Seldovia’s Outdoor Carving “Museum”! Most of the carvings are outdoors, under cover and in front of businesses and in parks about town, don’t miss those that are located inside the library, museum and Multi-purpose room! If you look at photo blogs from Seldovia, you will note that the majority of the photographers have found that our carvings are one of the most photographed items in Seldovia! The otters, the slough homes and the carvings are the symbols representing our community!
If you are a Chamber of Commerce member, and are interested in hosting one of the carvings at your place of business – please feel free to contact one of the Chainsaw Committee members for consideration. We have our 2014 carvings to place as well as a few others that will be relocated this year.
We want to extend a very appreciative thank you to our 1st Platinum Sponsor, Conoco Phillips, who was our top sponsor of the event this year. We are working with them as they are in the sponsorship position to select a carving of their choice from the competition to place in their corporate office! We will let you know when that is decided!
To the following Silver Sponsors who donated at least $1,000, in cash or in-kind: AeroTech LLC, Alaska Air Taxi, City of Seldovia, Elitewood Cabinets, Seldovia Fishing Adventures, Seldovia Chamber of Commerce, Seldovia Property and Winter Watch. Thank you for your very generous donations and assistance with this event!
We appreciate the community for their support and excitement in hosting the carvers and their families. Thank you to Tobben and Tanya Spurkland, Dick and Sammie Reason, Cory and Dawhn Bodyfelt, Brent and Raewyn Weyer with Seldovia Fishing Adventures and Mike and Nicola Holman who generously offered their homes and rooms to host our carvers this year!
I also have to acknowledge the most AWESOME Committee ever – that truly pulled together to bring this great event to you this year. Unfortunately, due to a family emergency, I had to fly out of Seldovia on the 1st day of the event, leaving the committee to manage the weekend without me. Thankfully, I have an incredible husband, Paul “Sonny” Chissus, who loves the Chainsaw Competition as much as I do, and we have a committee of fantastic individuals: Chris and Liane Crosta, Byron and Margie McCord and Suzie Stranik - who made it all come together!
Thank you to my in-laws, Paul and Ginny Chissus who rallied even more volunteers (Carolyn, Cathy, Harmony & Jan) to assist with the auctions and registration for the Mini Marathon as well as helped out in any other way that came about! Thanks for jumping in and doing whatever needed to be done to make things happen! We totally appreciate Tobben Spurkland who added his experience and professionalism to our 1st annual Mini Marathon! And to the Crosta family, including Bryce and Lindsey who helped mark the course and monitor the marathon! Thank you to Mike Webber and Mark Wegner who assisted on the site and helped Sonny with the logistics and details of running such a busy event!
Thank you so much to Chris and Liane Crosta who took great photos of the event – please enjoy their slideshow below!
To the carvers – Ben, Chris, Derrick, Jeff, and Rob – THANK YOU for being a part of our 9th Annual Craft Invitational Chainsaw Carving Competition! You guys are AMAZING, and we are thrilled to host you and your families! We are so fortunate to have your masterpieces become a part of our Seldovia Community! To Chris and Jeff, who took a chance – and flew all the way from Washington and Oregon to be a part of this small community event! We hope you have enjoyed your time in Seldovia, and that you could feel our appreciation and enjoy the small-town hospitality and exceptional working environment!! Isn’t this the MOST BEAUTIFUL setting for a competition you’ve ever seen? We hope that you will consider competing in our event in the future and bringing your families!
- In the women’s division, Naomi Gallien came in first place, with Jennifer Giles (Swick) in second, and Cola Lewis bringing up 3rd place.
- In the men’s category, Jeff Swick took 1st, Bryan Chartier with 2nd and Keith Swick came in 3rd.
- In the Senior division, Ed Packer took 1st place, and Margie and Byron McCord came in tied for 2nd.
- There was only one runner for the 10K this year – so Lars Spurkland won 1st place (that was easy!) – but I have to mention that he didn’t come in last overall due to the double distance - he crossed the finish line before 9 of the 5K competitors! Great job Lars!
- We did have a Red Lantern Award – which honors the last person to cross the finish line – and that went to Crystal and Courtney Collier!
Here we are in the summer of 2014 – and we are gearing up for our competition in Seldovia over Labor Day Weekend! We have confirmed most of our carvers, and are finalizing a few of the exciting details of the upcoming competition.
The 2014 Master Carvers
Ben Firth – Anchor Point, Alaska
Chris Foltz – North Bend, Oregon
Derrick Stanton – Kenai, Alaska
Jeff Samudosky – Gig Harbor, Washington
Rob Younkins – Anchorage, Alaska
We are excited to announce the Craft Invitational Chainsaw Carving Competition dates for 2014! Here is the tentative schedule of events for that weekend! And – did you see these AMAZING logs we have for the competition this year?
Seldovia’s Schedule for the Labor Day Weekend
Thursday, August 28, 2014
5:00pm Welcome Dinner with Carving Committee
7:00pm Log Drawing and Carvers begin prepping logs
7:15pm Site Prep – Debarking and scaffolding Set up – NO CARVING TONIGHT
9:00pm Clean up
Friday, August 29, 2014
7:30am Carver’s Meeting at the Site
8:00am Carving Time – Starting horn at 8am promptly
1:00pm Carving Time
5:00pm Quick Carve #1
5:00pm Silent Auction #1 Opens
5:00-9:00pm Registration for the Mini Marathon (5K and 10K) race at the Competition Site
7:00pm Carving Time
9:00pm Silent Auction #1 Closes
10:00pm Quit Carving & Clean up
9:00-11:00pm – 907 Band – Live Music at the Linwood
Saturday, August 30, 2014
8:00am Carving Time
8:00-10:00am – Mini Marathon FINAL Registration
10:00am – Mini Marathon (5 or 10K) – Start time!
12:00pm Mini Marathon Awards
1:00pm Quick Carve #2
1:00pm Silent Auction #2 Opens
4:00pm Saws off for 1/2 hour wedding
4:00pm Silent Auction #2 Closes
7:00pm Carving Time
10:00pm Quit Carving & Clean up
7:00pm Guitar Masters Concert - SBE
9:00-11:00pm 907 Band – Live Music at the Linwood
Sunday, August 31, 2014
8:00am Carving Time
8:00am Silent Auction #3 Opens
1:00pm Quit Carving & Clean up – Judging Begins
1:00pm Community Potluck Lunch on Site
2:00pm Silent Auction #3 Closes
3:00pm Award Ceremony
As you can see from the projected schedule to above, it is going to be a busy weekend! Carvers will have over 25 hours of carving time to create their amazing masterpiece carvings, while being fed, lodged and well cared for in Seldovia by our wonderful community of volunteers and generous donors! If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the competition, please call or email Jenny Chissus 234-8000 or email: Jenny@Seldovia.com to procure a Sponsor packet of information!
THANK YOU TO THE FOLLOWING SPONSORS
WHO ARE MAKING THIS 2014 SELDOVIA CHAMBER EVENT POSSIBLE!
The list is growing – can we add your name?
Alaska Marine Highway System
Linwood Bar and Grill
Seldovia Native Association Inc.
Seldovia Village Tribe
Spenard Builders Supply
Bear Creek Winery
Mike & Nicola Holman
Homer Electric Association
Indian Valley Meats
Kachemak Gear Shed
Dick & Sammie Reason
Smokey Bay Air
Tobben & Tania Spurkland
Thyme on the Boardwalk
Chainsaw Carving Committee/Help
Sonny & Jenny Chissus
Chris & Liane Crosta
Byron & Margie McCord
Please visit our Facebook Page to view 2013′s Competition photos!
The Craft Invitational Chainsaw Carving Competition has a Facebook Page! Please click here - or on the image below to go directly to our new page – click like and please share with folks you know who love our annual competition in Seldovia!
The Seldovia Craft Invitational Chainsaw Competition is Moving to Labor Day Weekend!
Here we are in 2013 – and there’s change on the horizon for the Chainsaw Carving Competition for Seldovia! For a variety of reasons, and after careful consideration, we have moved our competition for 2013 from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend! We are excited about the new dates, as we are hopeful for warmer weather, beautiful green lush summer surroundings and a fabulous end to the summer season with an extraordinary event!
There will be new carvers, favorite alumni carvers, at least one celebrity and opportunities for participation by the public! We have exciting plans coming together – and we will be announcing the details soon – right here – on Seldovia.com – so please stay tuned!
If you have experience carving, and would like to be considered for an invitation to our event, please contact Jenny Chissus with the Chainsaw Carving Committee at 907-234-8000 for more information and an application.
Seldovia Chainsaw Carving Exhibition 2012
Enjoy this great combination of photos – from beginning to end – almost like you were there! You can click here or on the image to the left to open the link for the large photo story! Another great feature of this format is that once you click on the image – you can click on any photo in the layout and it will open a slide show format, and you can view all the photos at your own pace in full size! (Depending on the size of your screen, some of the text on the left side may not be visible – but the “whole” story and more is below! Also, please note that there are many photos, and it may take a few minutes to load, depending on your Internet speed.)
This Memorial Day chainsaw competition was a little different from the previous years. Due to a myriad of scheduling conflicts (a move out-of-state, opening a new gallery, moving a shop/workshop across town, building a home, etc.) many carvers weren’t able to make it to our event this year.
We were thankful that three great carvers joined us this summer, Ben & Silas Firth (2nd year), Jimmy Kitchens & Carisa Curtis (5th year) and Rob Younkins & Deveyn LaCroix (3rd year)!
Due to the small participant size, we modified the event to be an exhibition, rather than a competition. We also changed it up a bit, as we offered to give the three masterpiece carvings to the carvers this year to keep or sell as they please. Over the past 6 years, the Chamber has kept the carvings – which are displayed at businesses all about town – over 34 of them!
This year, the People’s Choice Award went to Rob Younkins and Deveyn LaCroix for the swimming otters around the piling – named “The Pole Dance”! Rob has a great sense of humor! This carving you can still see in Seldovia – located at the home on the corner of Main Street and Illiamna Street. The breeching whale was also purchased by a local Seldovian who lives on MacDonald Spit. Unfortunately, the standing bear moved to the other side of the bay.
The carvers had a great time in spite of the rather chilly weather! Many spectators would come by (in spite of the cooler days) a few times a day to check on the progress of the carvings, take pictures and admire the beauty being created from our local spruce!
This event has brought many visitors to town, and helped to create a “Kick Off” weekend of events for Seldovia, with the Human Powered Fishing Derby, a concert sponsored by the Seldovia Arts Council, and a Start of Summer SVT Community BBQ at Outside Beach!
Thank you to all the wonderful folks and businesses who support the event annually through a myriad of services and goods!
Thanks to the City of Seldovia who offered the site and helped with the set up of the logs. Jim Hopkins who donated logs, moved logs and is an all-around helpful guy! To Mike Webber and Sonny Chissus who maintain the site and who are on-site during the competition to assist the carvers with whatever they need! To the Fuel & Lube who donated oil and gas for the chainsaws, and HEA who generously supplied power for the event!
Thank you so much for the generous gifting of lodging for the carvers and their families: Jerry and Suzie Stranik with Alaska Waterfront Cabin & Suites, John and Paulie Carluccio from Central Suites B&B and Dave and Peggy Cloninger from Seldovia Fishing Adventures! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
We also had a TON of help providing food for the weekend from the Bridgekeeper’s Inn, Chamber of Commerce, Chissus’, Crabpot, Giles, Hurleys, Linwood Grill, McCords, Perry’s Cafe, SVT & the Tidepool Cafe.
And another thanks goes to the Seldovia Village Tribe and the Seldovia Bay Ferry who provided the transportation for the carvers and assistants to and from Homer and Seldovia!
Thanks so much to any others that offered their support during the event! If you enjoy this annual event, and would like to be a part of the 2013 Chainsaw Carving Competition Committee, please give Sonny or Jenny a call (234-8000) as we would love to have some new folks assisting with next year’s competition!
Editor’s Note: There was a noticeable difference in the amount of visitors to Seldovia this Memorial Day weekend, and I believe one major factor was that AMHS didn’t come to town for our “Opening Weekend.” It seemed as though many folks who come to Seldovia for their start to summer, bringing vehicles, tents, bikes, etc. weren’t able to make it this year until after Memorial Day! If this affected you in a negative way, please contact AMHS and let them know! We certainly want to make sure we are on the schedule next year for our Memorial Day Festivities!