Tag: Seldovia Chainsaw Carving Competition

Watch The Chips Fly – Chainsaw Competition 2017!

| August 10, 2017 | 0 Comments

by Jenny Chissus

Yes, this is ABSOLUTELY my most favorite event in Seldovia each year!


For a small community, Seldovia has an amazing number of great events that happen throughout the year.  Activities are sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, Arts Council, Seldovia Village Tribe, Susan B. English school and of course the businesses who bring in live entertainment and host events!   We are so fortunate to have such an active group of organizations and community members who host such a wide variety of events, activities and celebrations. These are well attended by our locals as well as visitors who enjoy participating in our small, beautiful and intimate setting.

The Craft Invitational Chainsaw Carving Competition is a chance for artists to gather in Seldovia over a 4 day period, and create masterpiece carvings out of our large Stika Spruce logs!  Many of these artists are accustomed to working with smaller materials, so being able to carve a 26 -45 inch diameter log is a treat!  Amazing creations are brought to life!

Since 2006, the Seldovia Chamber of Commerce has hosted this competition and been honored to place these stunning carvings throughout our community so our locals and visitors are able to enjoy them all year long!   The community has raised funds through sponsorships to award $3,000 for our first place winner, $2,000 for second place and $1,000 for our 3rd place recipient each year.

Our outdoor museum of over 45 carvings is the best in Alaska!    The joy of seeing the rough logs turned into finished art is palpable in the eyes of the onlookers.  All weekend long, folks stop in to monitor the progress, cheer the carvers on with encouraging words, enjoy conversations around the campfire while snacking on smores and roasting hotdogs. It is an outdoor community event that lasts for 4 days and costs nothing to participate.  A family friendly activity, witnessing the creation of Alaskan artwork in progress!

Carvers and their assistants are treated like the superstars they are, as we host their trip over from Homer, their lodging while in town, as well as all their meals for the entire stay.  We invite families to join them on the trip, so it often is a vacation to remember for their whole family!

Thank you to the many volunteers, sponsors, businesses and individuals who make this event a huge success!

There is a lot going on this weekend as the Blueberry Festival returns to Seldovia, the 5K and 10K run on Saturday and the Guitar Master’s concert on Sunday!  So come join us this Labor Day Weekend to Watch the Chips Fly!

9th Annual “Watch the Chips Fly” Chainsaw Carving Competition on Labor Day Weekend!

| August 22, 2014 | 2 Comments

by Jenny Chissus

Please go to our FACEBOOK page to see photos as the competition progresses!

ScottEagleAs we tolerate the August rain, and our kids begin school, we have to face the fact that summer is coming to a close. It has been a glorious Seldovia summer, with plenty of warm, beautiful sunny days, full of fishing, friends, good food and exceptional beach combing!

This summer saw plenty of new beginnings in Seldovia, from the exciting renovations and reopening of the Boardwalk Hotel, Amon’s Coffee House – a quaint coffee shop serving breakfast and lunch on the slough to the Kacheyak Trading Post – we’ve seen some new energy in town that is contagious! Both the Tidepool Bakery and Cafe as well as Seldovia Fishing Adventures is under new ownership and it is nice to see this energetic interest and excitement in serving our community and visitors.

ChainsawCarvingCompetitionLogoThis year, over Labor Day Weekend, we are saying goodbye to summer with a ton of style, music, activity, athleticism, art and noise! This will be the 2nd year that we have hosted the Seldovia Craft Invitational Chainsaw Carving Competition at the end of summer!

TobyElaineCraftA little History:  We began this thrilling competition in 2006, with the guidance of two local carvers, Toby and Elaine Craft. The Crafts had competed in chainsaw carving competitions in other states and believed that bringing this type of competition would be a real asset to our community! Thus, the Seldovia Craft Invitational Chainsaw Carving Competition was born!

This will be our 9th year hosting the competition in Seldovia, (the first 7 years it was held on Memorial Day weekend) and we are so excited to announce our theme this year is “Great Alaska!” Also, this year, in addition to top Alaskan carvers: Ben Firth of Anchor Point, Derrick Stanton of Kenai and Rob Younkins of Anchorage – we have two carvers coming up from Washington and Oregon to compete in Seldovia! Chris Foltz from North Bend, Oregon and Jeff Samudosky from Gig Harbor, Washington have both competed internationally and have placed first in many events from the US, Canada and Germany! We are very excited to be opening this competition to master carvers outside of Alaska!

CarvingCrew2013Our event has always been a very intimate group, carvers who enjoy the time they spend in the art of carving, as well as the time together socially. Sponsored by the Seldovia Chamber of Commerce, we are thankful to garner so much support from the community as a whole! The Chainsaw Committee raises all the support from the local businesses and individuals. We bring the carvers over from Homer, lodge and feed them for the weekend as they create these beautiful masterpieces that will stay in our community for locals and visitors to enjoy!

JimmyBigSawThis year we have moved the competition site to the brand new Gateway Pavilion at the small boat harbor!  We are going to enjoy the glorious views, and being centrally located in the heart of town will make it easy for folks to stop by and enjoy the festivities!

The masterpiece carving logs are from local spruce, with a minimum diameter of 26″, and all are at least 7 feet tall. The carvers arrive on Thursday the 28th of August, and begin prepping their logs that evening, with the debarking and setting up of scaffolding. Carving will begin at 8am on Friday the 29th, and will continue through Sunday at 1:00pm. Obviously, there will be breaks for lunch, and dinner – snacks and great conversation!

SeaOtterCarvingAtSBEIt is an amazing transformation from a log to a masterpiece! My favorite day is Friday when the log has its greatest transformation, as the chainsaw cuts away to reveal to the crowd, the brilliant imagination of the carver! Saturday is incredible as the detailed work begins to evolve out of the rough design.   Sunday brings the work to completion with the fine details, textures all revealed and the final coating is put on the carving in preparation for judging.  We will also have quick carves during the competition time, and that is a great time to stop by and see high-speed creativity!

Sunday at 1:00pm the carvers have to put down their tools and the judges enter the competition site. Our guest judges this year will be the names sakes of our competition, Toby and Elaine Craft – who have traveled to Seldovia from the lower 48 to be here to experience the competition again. We will also have the Chief Mate of the Tustumena, John Mayer as a guest judge for the competition.

BenFirthThe finale of the weekend is the Community Potluck on Sunday at 1;00pm. Everyone is invited! We will be cooking up burgers and hotdogs and counting on the community for the salads, desserts, chips, dips, etc! While the judges are judging the masterpiece carvings, there will be a community gathering to celebrate the end of the competition and participate in a silent auction of items donated to raise funds for the event, and the final culmination of the event will be the awards ceremony at 3:00pm.

In addition to all the travel arrangements, lodging, food and other necessities required to make the event come together, we are still raising funds to bring the carvers up from the lower 48 this year, which substantially added to our budget!

We are so thankful for the very generous support of this event by the following individuals and businesses!

The list is growing – can we add your name?

Platinum Sponsor
COP logo220dpi

Gold Sponsors
Hopkins Bros.
Swisher Family

Silver Sponsors
AeroTech09Alaska Air Taxi
City of Seldovia LogoElitewoodCabinets1
SFA Logo
Winter Watch Logo

Bronze Sponsors
Alaska Marine Highway System
Linwood Bar and Grill
Seldovia Native Association Inc.
Seldovia Village Tribe
Spenard Builders Supply

Support Sponsors
Alaska Airlines
Alaska USA
Bear Creek Winery
Boardwalk Hotel
Bridgekeeper’s Inn
Captain’s Coffee
Central Charters
Central Suites
Crabpot Grocery
Dancing Eagles
Mike & Nicola Holman
Homer Electric Association
Homer Brewery
Indian Valley Meats
Kachemak Gear Shed
Perry’s Cafe
Dick & Sammie Reason
Mike Sage
Smokey Bay Air
Stranik Family
Tobben & Tania Spurkland
Thyme on the Boardwalk

Chainsaw Carving Committee/Help
Sonny & Jenny Chissus
Chris & Liane Crosta
Byron & Margie McCord
Mike Webber

If you would like to be a sponsor of this amazing event – please contact any one of our Chainsaw Committee members: Chris and Liane Crosta, Sonny and Jenny Chissus, Byron and Margie McCord or Suzie Stranik.   We are still looking for Silent Auction items and financial support!  We will see you at the site all weekend – and please come and bring a dish to our Community Potluck on Sunday at 1:00pm and stay for the Awards Ceremony at 3:00pm!

CICCC marathon

MiniMarathon5K10KIn addition to the Chainsaw Carving competition, we are having our 1st Annual Seldovia Mini Marathon, a 5K or 10K race (runner’s/walker’s option) on Saturday to raise money for the competition. Registration will be on Friday evening from 5:00-9:00pm at the competition site and continuing at 8:00am Saturday morning.   The starting gun will go off at 10:00am on Saturday!   There will be awards and lots of fun! If you don’t want to race – please show up on the course to show your support – the map of the race is below!

Also this weekend, we have the 907 band (www.907band.com) will be playing at the Linwood on Friday and Saturday evenings from 9:00-11:00pm!

Another HUGE event going on this weekend is the Guitar Masters concert on Saturday night at the Susan B English school. This is a fabulous opportunity to hear amazing guitar talent up close and personal! Click here for more information on this Seldovia Arts Council event.

It is going to be a fantastic and busy weekend!

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
12:00pm Lunch
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
6:00pm Dinner
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 Lunch
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
6:00pm Dinner
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

Chainsaw Magic

| June 29, 2012 | 1 Comment

by Jenny Chissus

Sorry for the super delayed photo story about the fabulous Chainsaw Exhibition 2012!

Here is a 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 a lot of photos and 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, Continue Reading