While Basswood might excite some hand carvers, Robbin Wenzoski‘s favourite wood to work with is black walnut. Of course, he doesn’t do much hand carving when he transforms a chunk of wood into art though. He prefers to work with a chainsaw and has since he first began carving eight years ago. So when he was asked to create a tree trunk sculpture for the Hamilton Road Business Association (HRBA), his first choice was black walnut to produce his newest wood carving. And look what emerged after 10 days of carving!
That’s right, a beaver! The lucky folks at Tile Town on Hamilton Road, in London, Ontario are the first business to have a sculpture fronting on Hamilton Rd, with the generous help from the City of London, Tourism London and Stihl Canada. In an effort to show the “Forest City’s” love of trees, Tourism London contributes 1/3 of the cost for a tree carving, while Stihl, a major manufacturer of chain saws with a head office located right here in London, contributes another 1/3. That leaves 1/3 of the cost of a tree sculpture to the business that orders the piece, plus the right to proudly display the plaque proclaiming them a member of the Association.
Dave Broostad, the Vice President of HRBA, and also the man in charge of the Tree Trunk Tour, was on hand to watch the beaver being erected. You see, he has a special interest in the Tour, as the first carved tree for the HRBA is in his very own front yard! After having a beloved maple tree die, a prominent feature in his yard, he looked into what other options he had available, aside from tree removal. That is when he met Wenzoski and a plan was hatched.
Wenzoski carved a moose head out of black walnut and installed it onto the top of Broostad’s maple trunk. After watching traffic crawl past his home on Van St. to check out the new sculpture, Broostad approached Tourism London about extending the London Tree Trunk Tour into his neighbourhood. They agreed and he was issued his own plaque noting the tree’s participation in the Tour.
Broostad did not stop there though. A family of deer was next to emerge behind a church at the corner of Egerton St and Hamilton Rd. The beaver at Tile Town makes number three for the HRBA section of the London Tree Trunk Tour and several more sculptures are planned. Whether the tree is an existing one that is carved in place (like the moose or deer) or a sculpture that is carved off-site then installed on a concrete slab (like the beaver that was actually 5 pieces glued and screwed together, and carved out of black walnut, maple and white ash) the project should keep Wenzoski busy for a while. That is, if he can fit it in, between his trips to England, Germany, Australia and throughout the US for international carving competitions!
And how is it that CLC Tree Services knows about this fabulous initiative you wonder? Well, you have to get the wood from somewhere! CLC has delivered more than one load of wood to Wenzoski’s 10 acre property just south of Highgate. We are also an official sponsor of the event. If you want to see more of Wenzoski’s work, you can check out his Facebook page, Photobucket account or even watch a video or two of him at work on YouTube. Better yet, head down to Hamilton Rd to see some of his sculptures and contact him to order a ticket to see him and a whole host of other carvers in action, during his annual Carv-A-Palooza in April. You just might see us there!
- Basswood: A Carver’s Delight and More (clctreeservices.wordpress.com)
- David Nash on the truth of trees (bbc.co.uk)
- Another Reason to Plant a Tree? For The Animals! (clctreeservices.wordpress.com)