This past Friday, I had the pleasure of doing a Live On Location Broadcast from Heming Lawn & Garden Equipment, as they welcomed the Stihl Wheels Tour into town. It was a great opportunity for anyone in need of some new power equipment to talk to the Stihl factory representatives about any questions they might have, get up close and personal with the equipment, and even try it out a bit before you buy. If you missed it but still need some power equipment, Stihl Dealer Days are still on as far as I can tell, though for a limited time, so get savings while you can!
My job for the day was relatively minor: I basically hung around, greeted folks as they came and went, and talked about the event on the radio a few times an hour.
While that was happening, the friendly Heming staff were busy taking care of customers, selling and servicing equipment, the Stihl Representatives were showing people through their trailer packed with gear, and Champion Chainsaw Carver Steve Kenzora was there creating carvings in front of our very eyes.
If you were listening to my cut-ins from the event, you likely heard a chainsaw going in the background at times. That was Mr. Kenzora working away at his craft. While I was there, I wandered over to where he was working and asked him a few questions about just how he got into chainsaw carving. He told me that he originally started working on wood the old fashioned way, with a hammer and chisel and other hand tools, but when he discovered chainsaw carving, he never looked back.
I mentioned to him how I personally would fear potentially cutting off my own hand if I worked with chainsaws like that. Of course, I don’t think I’ve ever even used a chainsaw, so that’s a big part of it. He told me there’s a big misconception that what he does is ridiculously dangerous. Perhaps for someone like me who has never actively cut anything with one, it could end badly. But if you know what you’re doing and you’re smart about it (both of which are absolutely true for Steve), you shouldn’t have any issues. He said that people sometimes ask him how many fingers he’s lost and things like that. He’s still got all 10 digits, and as far as I could tell, has never had an accident.
I was also impressed at the array of different chainsaws he brought along to do his carvings with. There must have been 7 or 8 of them at least, all made by Stihl. They certainly picked the right guy to show off what Stihl chainsaws can do!
I had only seen a chainsaw carver at work once before, when my parents hired a man by the name of George Best to do a carving on an old tree on their property. I was just a kid at the time, and don’t remember seeing much of the actual carving happening, but I remember being pretty impressed with the result. Mr. Best is sadly no longer with us, but I still have fond memories from the times I did meet him. Watching Mr. Kenzora do his thing up close and personal was particularly interesting. I mean, it makes sense that all the different chainsaws of different sizes have different jobs, but to see him switching between using the big ones for major cuts and the smaller ones for detail work just shows how much work and attention to detail goes into his work.
— Ken Elrick II (@DrPatchbeard) April 22, 2016
Now I should clarify that we didn’t ask him to carve a Wolf for us. He just decided to do it on his own, because it was fitting with us there – and we absolutely appreciated it! He had a number of his other carvings on display there, to show what he is capable of, and also to sell if anyone is interested. In fact, if you like what you see here, I would recommend you check out his Facebook page, where he has a ton of photos of the work he does. He sells carvings/sculptures, makes them to order, and will even come to your property and carve a tree if you so desire!
Sadly, I couldn’t hang around all day. When the time for my live broadcast ran out, it was time to hit the road again. Before I left, however, I made sure to get a photo with Mr. Kenzora and the nearly finished wolf he had carved while we were there.
It was an all-around great day – I got to hang out with some cool folks, be on the radio, and make a connection with another excellent local artist! Seriously, Mr. Kenzora does some fantastic work – I do highly recommend poking around his Facebook page to see just what he’s capable of!
Also, thanks to Heming Lawn & Garden Equipment for having me out for the day! I hope we can do it again!