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Chiseled Art

Chainsaw rendezvous carvers sculpt logs by the slice

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RONAN – The sounds of blaring, buzzing chainsaws and power tools filled the air in Ronan over the weekend during the inaugural Mission Valley Chainsaw Carving Rendezvous, held at the Lake County Fairgrounds.

With wood chips flying all about, onlookers gathered during the four-day extravaganza to watch five chainsaw wielding artists from around the world transform ordinary pine logs into mesmerizing works of art.

The rendezvous was hosted by the Ronan Area Chamber of Commerce and was originally created by CCR Committee members Ronna Walchuk, Geof Rohrlach, Susan Lake, Lana Bartel and Bill Bartel as a great tourism boost and an opportunity to show off what the area has to offer to visitors.

Ninety-nine percent of the work is done with a chainsaw, while sanders and grinders help carvers put the finishing touches on their projects. “The artistry is amazing to watch as a shape emerges from a rough log and definition is added as the carver continues to cut away,” said Ronan Area Chamber of Commerce manager Brian Bergquist. 

Initially, seven saw artists were slated for the event, which started Thursday afternoon and ran until Sunday, however, two were unable to travel with their chainsaws due to family emergencies.

Longtime carver and Woods Bay resident Todd Coats represented Montana among the cast of international carvers. Coats has a studio along U.S. Highway 35 where his wood carvings continually 

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