The dust was flying in Eau Claire today – sawdust that is.
The U.S. Chainsaw Sculpture Championships had a lot of people buzzing. We were there on the final day to check out the carvings see who took home the grand prize.
The U.S. Open Chainsaw Sculpture Championships came to a close today.
"People travel from all over the world. We have literally the 10 best sculptors in the world here competing, They come from Australia, 4 from Japan, Germany, Austria and around the U.S.," says Larry Doyle, the event organizer.
Weeks of preparation can go into a single sculpture from drawing it out to sculpting it in clay but you can't plan for everything.
"My original plan was to have it lying down. But then I looked at the log I was allocated, we have a log draw, and I thought, no, this thing needs to stand up," says Robby Bast, a sculptor from Australia.
Each sculptor only had 26 hours to complete their giant work of art which proved difficult for some.
"I would have liked to finish it! I'm happy with the piece I've done. I tried to push myself and up the degree of difficulty right up there," says Bast.
For the second year in a row, Takao Hayashi from Japan won first place.This was no surprise to one local sculptor.
"Takao Hayashi kinda brings it to a whole nother level. There's a lot of motion in his pieces. Even though he's been here before he does some crazy stuff. It's pretty amazing," says Dave Myers of Pioneer Carving in Eau Claire.
Once the chainsaws, sanders and paints are put down, the massive masterpieces are put up for auction. The artists may have to say good bye to their pieces but the skills they learned may come in handy next year.
"I was just the little guy kicking it with the big guys but it was a great experience," says Bast.
"The U.S. Open will always be right here in Eau Claire Wisconsin," says Doyle.
Money raised by the auction will go to the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum in Carson Park.
The sculpture that won first place sold for $3,400. The biggest seller was the third place winner, a bench made by Steven Higgins from Missouri. That sold for $5,000.
Western Wisconsin (WQOW) - Two hunters who were shot and wounded during the gun deer hunt in western Wisconsin remain hospitalized. Brian Kohnke, from Menomonie, is still in critical condition. The DNRMore >>
A western Wisconsin hunter, shot during the gun deer hunt, is improving. More >>
Eau Claire County (WQOW) - Firefighters are needed after a homeowner hears a crackling noise in the ceiling. The fire happened Monday afternoon at 5219 County Line Road in the Town of Union. No one wasMore >>
Township firefighters are needed after a homeowner hears a crackling noise in the ceiling.More >>
Eau Claire (WQOW) - The public weighed in on the future of a downtown Eau Claire building one that's almost 90 years old. Two months ago, the landmarks commission designated 6 South Barstow a local landmark.More >>
The public weighed in on the future of a downtown Eau Claire building one that's almost 90 years old. More >>
Eau Claire (WQOW) - The end of the year brings many things for many people but for some it could mean starting over, again. Starting January 1st, GEDs, a high school diploma equivalency, are changing.More >>
General Educational Development, or GED exams, are changing at the end of the year. More >>
Eau Claire (WQOW)- Fresh snowfall makes for dangerous travel across the state Sunday. Senator Kathleen Vinehout was involved in one of dozens of crashes being reported. There have been so many crashesMore >>
Freshsnowfall made for dangerous travel across the state Sunday. Senator Kathleen Vinehout was involved in one of dozens of crashes.More >>
Chippewa County (WQOW) - Law enforcement hopes you stay home Monday night unless you really need to hit the road. In just a six-hour span on Monday, law enforcement responded to 26 crashes or slide-insMore >>
Law enforcement hopes you stay home Monday night unless you really need to hit the road.More >>
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Snow contributed Sunday to at least two fatal accidents and numerous other pileups that injured dozens of people in southern Wisconsin. The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office describedMore >>
Snow contributed Sunday to at least two fatal accidents and numerous other pileups that injured dozens of people in southern Wisconsin.More >>
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's pubic inspection file should contact Director of Station Operations Lisa Patrow at 715-852-5920. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at email@example.com.