ShareThis Page
More A and E

Talented Butler chainsaw artist will show off skills in annual invitational

| Thursday, May 14, 2015, 9:05 p.m.
Chainsaw carver Ken Tynan removes wood while carving an eagle at B&B Motors in Butler Wednesday, May 1, 2013. The Butler County Chainsaw Carving Invitational will feature more than 20 of the world's top chainsaw-carving artists on the Butler Farm Show Grounds from May 15 to 17.
Philip G. Pavely | Trib Total Media
Chainsaw carver Ken Tynan removes wood while carving an eagle at B&B Motors in Butler Wednesday, May 1, 2013. The Butler County Chainsaw Carving Invitational will feature more than 20 of the world's top chainsaw-carving artists on the Butler Farm Show Grounds from May 15 to 17.
Mark Colp of Lakeport, Calif., one of the carvers at the 2013 Butler Chainsaw Carving Invitational.
Nathaniel Black
Mark Colp of Lakeport, Calif., one of the carvers at the 2013 Butler Chainsaw Carving Invitational.
Nathaniel Black
A pelican created at the 2013 Butler Chainsaw Carving International
Nathaniel Black
A pelican created at the 2013 Butler Chainsaw Carving International
A carver hard at work at the 2013 Butler Chainsaw Carving Invitational.
Nathaniel Black
A carver hard at work at the 2013 Butler Chainsaw Carving Invitational.
An Indian carved by Ken Tynan in Butler Wednesday, May 1, 2013. The  Butler County Chainsaw Carving Invitational will feature more than 20 of the world's top chainsaw carving artists on the Butler Farm Show Grounds May 16-18.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
An Indian carved by Ken Tynan in Butler Wednesday, May 1, 2013. The Butler County Chainsaw Carving Invitational will feature more than 20 of the world's top chainsaw carving artists on the Butler Farm Show Grounds May 16-18.

Some people are just plain good at math. Others, maybe sports.

What Ken Tynan can do when he picks up a chainsaw, and how little time it took to get to that point, makes him a bona fide natural.

A former billboard painter, Tynan started carving artistic pieces with his chainsaw when he was 40 years old.

“I took one class, a carving class,” says the now 55-year-old. “Then I entered a competition where I carved Santa Claus, and I beat my teacher.”

The Butler native's skills will be on display from May 15 to 17 at the Butler Farmshow Grounds for the third annual Butler Chainsaw Carving Invitational.

Tynan is one of 24 carvers booked for the event. Tynan didn't get the call only because he's nearby — he has 27 carving championships to his name and was featured on the Canadian television series “Saw Dogs.” He makes a living with his chainsaw and says he is booked with work for the next year.

The rest of the field is just as talented.

“These guys go nuts,” Tynan says. “They sharpen their saws like no others.”

The event has a slight twist in that it is not a competition. It's more of a get-together for the group, one that also stokes the artistic fire.

“It's a bunch of us that go through competitions, and we just wanted to do a show,” Tynan says. “We just want to have a good time and learn off each other.”

Some of the faster carvers will slice out up to six pieces in a day. Others take their time to wrap up a masterpiece.

Anyone expecting an abundance of the basics like bears, deer or Indians will have another think coming.

“The one thing that stuck out to me last year was (Austin, Texas-based artist) Griffon Ramsey carved an archeologist that found a genie in a lamp,” says event organizer Damian Skal. “The archeologist was on his knee holding a lamp with a genie popping out.”

Tynan says he hasn't thought about what he will come up with. He says it's hard to visualize beforehand because the size and shape of the wood he gets to work with can dictate where he goes with it.

Pieces created over the three-day event will be auctioned on May 16 and 17.

Tynan, an Army veteran, will auction off a piece to benefit local wounded veterans.

“Anything I can do to help our brothers right here in Western PA,” Tynan says.

In addition to the carvers, there will various food vendors, as well as a bounce house and play area for kids.

Skal said he is expecting 8,000 to 10,000 people to attend.

Ed Phillipps is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me