Mammoth mainstay: Whittle the Wood Stump 7’s Chad Stratton keeps bringing creativity as longtime entrant
As one of the carvers with the lengthiest tenure at Whittle the Wood Rendezvous, Chad Stratton’s latest carving was only appropriate in terms of age.
Stratton, from South Jordan, Utah, marked his 14th outing with the yearly festival with a wooly mammoth entry, titled “Long Ago.”
The piece portrays the forerunner to the modern elephant complete with massive tusks, sizable trunk and large, floppy ears.
“I had to add the ears in later because of the way the log was so big around. When I first cut into it, there was a big spot with a bunch of ants in it, but it is what it is,” he said.
Stump 1 — Nate Hall — “Mountain Migraine”; Rams butting heads
Stump 2 — Matt Ounsworth — “20 for 20”; Animal totem (Second place)
Stump 3 — Jim Valentine — “Buckshot Bill”; Cowboy
Stump 4 — Damon Gorecki — “Wood Haven”; Bench
Stump 5 — Justine Park — “Home of the Brave”; Skull with feathered headdress
Stump 6 — Joe Srholez — “Xing Yun (Lucky)”; Dragon
Stump 7 — Chad Stratton — “Long Ago”; Wooly mammoth
Stump 8 — Bongo Love — “The Sweet Life”; Hummingbirds (Third place)
Stump 9 — Robert Lyon — “Horse of Course”; Horse
Stump 10 — Robert Waits — The Lorax”; The Lorax (Artist’s Choice)
Stump 11 — Fernando Dulnuan — “The Lion of Judah”; Angel with lion and lamb
Stump 12 — Ken Braun — “Blue”; Velociraptor (First place, People’s Choice, Artist’s Choice)
While the other features brought their own challenges, Stratton said the trickiest part of the mammoth was the “wooly” part.
“It’s really hard to show hair,” he laughed.
Stratton further distinguished the age of the mammoth with a set of petroglyphs painted on the carving’s back end.
“I just like the idea of cave paintings done by the mammoth hunters,” he said.
Among Stratton’s other works across the years of Whittle the Wood are a bullet-riddled doghouse airplane flown by Snoopy in “Flying Ace,” the tentacled sea monster of “Release the Kraken,” and 2018’s “Honey Hole,” a idyllic fishing location.
As carvers were brought to the stage for the announcement of winners this year, Stratton took the opportunity to speak on behalf of event organizer Dave Pike, noting the Craig Parks and Recreation director’s recent accolade of Hometown Hero.
“Let’s all give a hat’s off to Dave Pike,” Stratton said loudly during the ceremony to huge applause.