Chainsaw artists clash in 'Carve Wars' competition this weekend in New Jersey

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Sunday, September 25, 2022
Chainsaw artists clash in 'Carve Wars' competition this weekend
At this traveling event, attendees can watch logs transform into masterpieces, then bid on their favorites in a live auction!

TUCKERTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The gentle waves lapping at the Tuckerton Seaport this morning were met with the roaring sounds of chainsaws clashing in a carving competition.

"Carve Wars" is the creative concept of Joe Wenal, who founded Rocky Mountain Carvers in 2012. His passion for the craft was born out of a challenging time in his life.

"15 years ago, I had two ruptured Achilles tendons," said Wenal. "I couldn't do anything and I started making lawn furniture."

Wenal, who is originally from Cedar Run, New Jersey, then took the natural step towards chainsaw carving.

"I started doing different competitions around the country," he said. "And then that's kind of what led me into doing Carve Wars."

What started as one event in Colorado became a nationwide tour among states like Utah, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maine, where Wenal currently lives.

"It's an auction-based competition. So, it's basically a speed-carving competition," he said. "So, it goes from a log to a bear or an eagle in 30 minutes."

Some of the best chainsaw artists from across the country traveled to Tuckerton in Ocean County this weekend to compete in Carve Wars. They created all morning until the live auction began. The winner of the weekend is declared based on the amount earned from attendees' bids.

But it's not all about the money or the competition.

"It's just fun to be able to create something every day," said Dawna Ceriani from Brockport, Pennsylvania. "And most of us are such a tight community. We all help each other. We're all like family."

Each artist can carve alongside one another, sharing tips and tricks and stories about their careers. Attendees can watch them discover the image within the log from a safe distance.

In tandem with the live auction, a portion of the proceeds benefits a local charity. This particular event benefits the Forever Logan Foundation.

This weekend, Carve Wars coincides with the next-door 40th Annual Old Time Barnegat Decoy & Gunning Show. Both events continue on Sunday, September 25. To learn more about each, visit their websites.

RELATED: NJ Chainsaw artist gives scrapped trees new life

Come along as we tour Ackmonsters Chainsaw Art in Bridgeton, New Jersey, and watch a miniature bear come to life before your very eyes!