Whittle the Wood Rendezvous starts Wednesday

When it comes to getting creative with wood, carvers who participate in Whittle the Wood Rendezvous are never stumped.

The fourth annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous starts on Wednesday in City Park.

The three-and-a-half-day event runs through Saturday with carvers starting each day at 9 a.m.

A drawing for what stump each artist will carve will kick the event off with work continuing through Saturday morning.

There is a limit of 12 carvers who participate in the event.

"Basically, if the artist sends a couple of drawings of what they want to carve and as long as it acceptable then it is first come, first served," said Dave Pike, director of Parks and Recreation for Craig.

"This year there were 13 carvers but one dropped out so it worked out perfectly."

Local bands River City and Blue Rooster will perform Saturday. Poco, a band formed in 1968 that has released more than 20 albums, including the multi-platinum selling "Legend," will be headlining the show, which will last from 3 to 8 p.m. A silent auction for the carvers' work also will take place Saturday as well as the judging of the exhibits.

For carver Faye Braaten of Loveland the event is "fun and challenging."

Braaten started in the event four years ago when she was asked separately by two different people in two days to show off her work.

"I had been carving for about six months or a year," Braaten said. "The first year of the event I carved an eagle with a snake in its claws and I got second place."

Braaten said she lived in Montana a friend of her husband did large carvings with a chain saw. "He actually thought my husband should do it, but I painted and stuff." So the man showed Braaten how to make a few cuts and "the rest came real natural."

Here is Braaten's experience with the biggest tool of her trade:

  • chain saws weigh about 13 pounds each
  • Braaten tries to keep carving with a chain saw down to about three or four hours a day, but during an event such as Whittle the Wood Rendezvous, she spends about 25 hours in the first two days with a saw
  • Braaten has three chain saws that are working and three to four others that are not
  • She will bring three saws of different sizes, a small, medium and large
  • She prefers the brand Husky and the size 346, which is the largest because it takes off the biggest chunks

According to Braaten the event started when several trees died in the park. Instead of just getting rid of them, the idea of having a contest to carve them was brought up. In the second year of Whittle the Wood Rendezvous, the park still had some native trees that needed to be carve but they also brought in new trees to carve. Now every year the city brings in trees and buries them in the park for the carvers.

"Some of the people who come and carve, sell their work for $10,000 through $15,000 so the park gets some quality work there,"

Braaten said.

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