Six chainsaw sculptors put their skills on display this weekend at Tuckerton Seaport, as giant logs were turned into works of art.
Crowds gathered around the work stations during the quick carve demo, in which the artists had just one hour to complete their pieces.
With wood chips in his beard and bare feet, third-generation sawyer Brian “Ackmonster” Ackley, of Upper Deerfield Township, created a bear-themed bench during the quick carve Saturday afternoon. Ackley, who has been carving for 19 years, channeled the seaport spirit by carving an old fisherman, complete with a net, fish and seagull, earlier in the day.
First-time competitor Wyatt Harrison stood in awe of the other carvers after the quick carve demo. With only two years of carving experience under his belt, Harrison, of WJH Chainsaw Carvings in Hewitt, used his 60 minutes to create an eagle sculpture.
Reigning World Champion Chainsaw Carver Dennis Beach, of Wapwallopen, Pennsylvania, wowed festivalgoers as he created a wooden bench with a red cardinal adorning each side. He even took time to chat with onlookers during the quick carve.
Carve Wars organizer Joe Wenal, who grew up in Cedar Run, created a bench with an owl sculpture during the quick carve. Wenal now resides in New Castle, Colorado, where he runs his chainsaw art and custom log furniture business, Rocky Mountain Carvers.
Joe Srholez, who grew up in Sussex County, now carves full time, after spending 17 years building log homes in Colorado. Srholez carved a large eagle sculpture before creating eagle wall hangings in the quick carve.
After the one-hour competition was over, veteran wood carver Tom Ceriani sat down on his elaborately designed bench, featuring two bear heads, and posed for the crowd. Ceriani, who carves with his wife, Dawna, at T and D Carvings in Brockport, Pennsylvania, has won six quick carve competitions.
“I’m exhausted,” Ceriani said with a smile.