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article imageChainsaw carving competition turns tree stumps into works of art Special

By Kay Mathews     Aug 23, 2010 in Entertainment
Gunnison - Wood carvers from five states converged in Gunnison to compete in the “Carvin’ Up Colorado” event in which chainsaws were used to fashion tree stumps into sculptures reflecting Colorado outdoor themes.
The “Carvin’ Up Colorado” competition was held Aug. 19 - 21 and approximately 10 wood carvers came from Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Washington to “transform tree stumps into works of art.”
The tree stumps were collected by the City of Gunnison throughout the year when trees were cut down for safety reasons, including five of Gunnison’s oldest cottonwood trees that had to be removed from an area across from the Town Hall. The town’s 2009 Christmas tree was also used in the event.
All of the works become the property of the City of Gunnison and will be displayed in community sites such as Legion Park where the competition took place.
Two of the visitors to the chainsaw carving competition were Jim and Jeana Cole. Jeana Cole agreed to be interviewed by DigitalJournal.com. Cole said that she and her husband moved to Gunnison in early July and decided to attend the event “with some friends that came to visit from Arkansas.”
When asked what she most enjoyed about attending “Carvin’ Up Colorado,” Cole replied, “I enjoyed watching the guys carve with those chainsaws! They are so talented to be able to do that. It's amazing to watch a log become a statue!”
Wood carver working at  Carvin  Up Colorado  competition with chainsaws at hand.  Gunnison  CO  Augu...
Wood carver working at "Carvin' Up Colorado" competition with chainsaws at hand. Gunnison, CO August 19, 2010.
Jeana Cole
The participating wood carvers began their artistic endeavors at 10 a.m. on August 19, and the Coles went to the event that Thursday as well as on Friday. In doing so, Cole was able to take pictures of the wood carvers at work and which show the transformation of the tree stumps into works of art.
According to Cole, one of the wood carvers was Stevie Songer of Valliant, OK who “did the carving of the hollow bear named Ole Spooky.” Here are the “bearfore” and after photographs.
Stevie Songer works on  Ole Spooky  during  Carvin  Up Colorado  competition.  Gunnison  CO  August ...
Stevie Songer works on "Ole Spooky" during "Carvin' Up Colorado" competition. Gunnison, CO August 19, 2010.
Jeana Cole
 Ole Spooky  by Stevie Songer.  Gunnison  CO  August 20  2010.
"Ole Spooky" by Stevie Songer. Gunnison, CO August 20, 2010.
Jeana Cole
Cole noted that “another person we talked to that did an awesome carving was Forrest Dorman.” Dorman “did the statue of the wolf and it took him 17 hours total to finish,” said Cole.
Wolf sculpture by Forrest Dorman at  Carvin  Up Colorado  competition.  Gunnison  CO  August 20  201...
Wolf sculpture by Forrest Dorman at "Carvin' Up Colorado" competition. Gunnison, CO August 20, 2010.
Jeana Cole
Another chainsaw carved sculpture that caught Cole’s eye was one done by “Tom Zimmer from Choctaw, OK.” Zimmer’s mountain lion and deer wood carving is shown in the photograph below.
Mountain lion and deer sculpture by Tom Zimmer.  Carvin  Up Colorado  competition. Gunnison  CO Augu...
Mountain lion and deer sculpture by Tom Zimmer. "Carvin' Up Colorado" competition. Gunnison, CO August 20, 2010.
Jeana Cole
This is the fifth year for the competition but, according to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association, it is the first year that “each carver also will create a smaller sculpture that will be auctioned off.”
As it turned out, Jim and Jeana Cole won Stevie Songer’s bear carving in the silent auction.
Jeana and Jim Cole won Stevie Songer’s bear carving in the  Carvin  Up Colorado  competition s sil...
Jeana and Jim Cole won Stevie Songer’s bear carving in the "Carvin' Up Colorado" competition's silent auction. Gunnison, CO August 20, 2010.
Unknown
When asked if she knew who won the “Carvin’ Up Colorado” competition, Cole replied, “I don't know the winner. We only have a weekly paper that comes out on Thursdays! I'm dying to find out though, so I'm going to call the Chamber tomorrow and see if I can find out!”
Cole said the event “was so interesting, and as long as we are here we'll keep going!”
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