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Get to know the 11 amazing carvers from around the Northwest

that will be at this year's event.

Alexandru Pricob – Renton, WA

Alex is from a small village of Moldova. Since early childhood he drew cartoon characters for hours. He moved his family to the U.S. in 2007 in search of a better life. HIs creativity includes painting oil on canvas and carving wood.

Alex won 2nd place in the semi-pro division in Ocean Shores and won 1st place for the most moneymaker, and 1st place for the quick carve. Recently, Alexandru won 2nd place for carvings bringing in the most money at the carving festival in Arlington, WA. He has participated in many street fairs, wood carving shows and competitions.

 “In the summer of 2009, I went to a wood carving show in Ocean Shores and fell in love with what I saw. I went home and tried to do some wood carvings myself, and I thought they turned out very good. Since then, I have been carving sculptures out of lumber, using the chainsaw.”

Jay Peppard – Vida, OR

Jay is a semi-pro carver with 3.5 years experience. His passions include welding, fabrication, painting, restoration and chainsaw carving. Jay will perform a live carving demo at Elk Horn Brewery in Eugene on Sunday, August 2nd at 2 PM. 

He enjoys gardening and spending time with Elise and their daughter Lydia. Jay will be carving with his father, Mark Peppard at this year's festival. 

Mark Peppard is a Semi-Pro carver and enjoys spending time carving together with his son Jay Peppard. 

After seeing how much fun Mark’s son, Jay, was having last year as a new, semi-pro carver, Mark and his son, Jay, started spending more time together and Mark started carving, too. Carving has brought this father and son team closer together and they have had a great time making memories together this past year, carving together.    

Jay and Elise have a special love for bees and helping them survive! In 2013, Jay’s main carve was a bee, which can be seen at the McKenzie Lavender Farm during the Lavender Festival in July along the McKenzie River.

Learn why bees are in trouble and find out how you can help at or   

Bruce Thor - Kent, WA

A 3rd generation Icelandic American chainsaw gypsy from Kent Washington. I’m a cartoonist painter, writer turnedsculptor. I attended my first competition in 2000 at Westport WA.

Thor’s Adventure since CAF 2013

“I went to England, Scotland and traveled across America. I carved under hot air balloons and at a kangaroo zoo. Isaw the tallest underground waterfall, witnessed blue grass by the bonfire in Georgia, amazing firework shows and attended great feasts. 3 flat tires and 2 vehicles later, I saw snow rollers in Pennsylvania and showed up in northCarolina with 40 bucks and 80 carvings!” Thor painted several murals from PA to WA. Heading west via Mt. Rushmore, by grace of God, Thor made it home.

Thor won Peoples Choice in Port Gamble 4th of July 2015. He was featured on the Spike TV framework as one ofthe chainsaw guys helping competitors make furniture. Thor’s guy won! This October, Thor became the subject of a college paper on living American artists and was in the Tacoma news tribune several times for a big turtle and coral reef carving on-site near Wright park. 

"Creation continues for me as I look forward to seeing y'all once again. Keep smiling," – Thor

Chris Foltz – North Bend, OR

Chris in not only a master wood carver, he’s an award winning ice carver and accomplished executive chef. He attended Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, and is now teaching the art to upcoming chefs.

Chris has competed in many chainsaw and ice carving competitions. This year at the Chetwynd Chainsaw Art Competition, Chris won 1rst place for the fourth time. It is impressive to watch his technique.

Follow him on Facebook – Chris Foltz

Ken Ballenger – Seattle, WA

Ken’s wife gave him a wood carving as a Christmas gift, and that’s how it all began. Carving is like therapy for Ken. When he closes the door in his shop, he leaves the world behind. He finds it difficult to repeat the same carvings, so his sculptures are always different.

Ken generously donated carving sculptures to McKenzie Track two years in a row.   

Facebook: Edge Carving   

Matt Holznagel – Orting, WA

Facebook: Matt's Creative Carvings

Kevin & Tyler Strauslin – Salem, OR

Kevin has a passion for carving.  He has been carving for 9 years and recently opened a new shop and gallery in Salem Oregon.  Throughout the past 8 years he has won 8 carving awards.  He specializes in sasquatches 9-12 ft tall, two of which were featured in popular animal and outdoor themed television programs including Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot!   He also sculpted a tribute to “Steve Prefontaine” with a life-size sculpture of the famous runner, purchased by sister, Annette Prefontaine, featured at a Nike store in Portland.  His most outstanding carves were two life-size carvings of the Crucifixion of Christ.  Come see the new shop and gallery at Oregon 3D Art in Salem, Oregon or website at

Tyler has been carving with his father Kevin for 7 years.  He became the youngest to earn the semi-pro competition in Reedsport in 2011 and becoming a “Pro” carver after only one year of carving with his dad, probably a world record.  He and Kevin work out of their new shop and gallery in Salem Oregon.  Come see them at Oregon 3D Art in Salem, Oregon or website at

Robert Tidwell – St. Helens, OR

On the Oregon side of the Longview Bridge in Rainer, Oregon, Robert Tidwell owns a shop named, ‘Knot Just a Bear’ which keeps him pretty busy. Robert first started carving when he went fishing with a buddy who said he was going to carve a bear. Robert thought that was pretty funny. His friend did carve a bear, and it wasn’t bad!   So, Robert gave it a try, and has been carving ever since.

Robert has competed and won in the semi-pro division, along with winning many quick carve competitions. He does a lot of charity work with his carvings for the city of St. Helens, Oregon.  

Visit Robert’s shop:        

Ryan Anderson

Ryan is the performing artist for Sculptures In Motion. He has been sculpting professionally since 2006. He is one of the youngest amongst his competitors, yet he is a force to be reckoned with. Ryan has been making a name for himself throughout the world, competing all over North America and Europe.

Ryan has always displayed artistic abilities ever since he was just a child. He was introduced to chainsaw carving just shortly after turning 16. Ryan became hooked to the art. After graduating from Reedsport High School in 2007. He began carving full time and began to attend more competitions.

Ryan had worked under Mark Colp during the winters of 2007 through 2011 learning more of the trade. Working with Colp has been a huge benefit not only to Ryan's sculpting career. In 2009 just at the age of 20, Ryan was invited to represent Husqvarna.

To this day Ryan creates a one of a kind experience, not only with inspiring sculptures but also with Husqvarna's top of the line power equipment. He enjoys a good challenge and using his imagination to come up with some very unique pieces of art.  He also enjoys inspiring his fellow artists with his skills and technics to help others learn this art.

Ryan credits his success to the selfless dedication of his family, friends and many of his fellow carvers that were willing to inspire him and help guide him along the way. 

Jacob Lucas – Bonney Lake, WA

A resident of Bonney Lake, Washington; Jacob Lucas has been carving since 2004. Throughout the years he has worked in many mediums such as drawing, clay sculpture, digital design, glass blowing and chainsaw art.

Carving became a dream of Jacob's when his grandmother bought some cute carved bears at the local fair. "At age 13, I thought it was somthing I could do so I saved my money from working in a lwanmower repair shop and purchased a small saw." His dreams were soon cut short when two weeks later the new saw was stolen from the garage. Being only 13, Lucas pretty much wrote off becoming a carver.

Eleven years later his grandmother read an article in the paper about a carver and reminded Jacob of his dream so long ago. She offered to buy him a new saw and from then on he has been hooked. A few years in, Jacob decided to try competitive carving; he entered the Reed Sport Divisional in Oregon, taking second place in the semi-pro category. He returned the next year and entered as a professional, taking eighth place among 30 of the best carvers in the world. 

In 2015, Lucas was invited by Bob King to go to Mulda, Germany as his partner to present the U.S.A. in the Huskycup Worldcup Championship Invitational chainsaw carving competition against teams from five other countries. The assignment was to creae a hunting scene from each group's country of orgin before the age of firearms; they carved a Native American rearing up on a horse and spearing a full sized bison, which took second place overall. Jacob also won second place in the 2015 People's Choice award at the 3rd Annunal McKenzie River Chainsaw & Arts Festival.

Lucus has been featured in many carving articles. He spent three summers sculpting 16 trees over 12 feet tall for the City of Bridgeport next to the Chief Joseph Dam in Eastern Washington. He how has 30 sculputres in the town. Jacob also has a few sculptures on display in the City of Chelan and carved a 10-foot tall nutcracker for the City of Leavenworth that is located in the center of town across from the Leavenwork Nutcracker Museum.

Lacob carves full time and takes custom orders. He likes to say "I love to make people smile with my art".

James Lukinich – Willamina, OR

 “The Carver”, located off Hwy 18,exit 25, near Spirit Mountain casino…

While living in California, Lukinich was accepted as a working artist and member of the Spanish Village Artists Guild in San Diego’s Balboa Park. Lukinich was one of the featured sculptors demonstrating at, “Art Splash” Carlsbad, CA in 2009. He then was invited to Reedsport National Chainsaw Competition, and placed in the top ten 2012 and 2013.

Born in Oregon, Lukinich began carving while logging in Alaska.” The first thing I carved was a dynamite sign”. While owning his own tree service for many years, he finally started carving professionally in 2008.

View James’ work on Facebook:     

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