DUNDEE: Some of Canada’s best – indeed, the world’s best – chainsaw artists could be found on the grounds of the Dundee Resort early last week for a demonstration of the art that can be made through a combination of blades, gasoline, and know-how.
“Whenever I’m here carving with friends, it’s always going to be a good time,” said Joel Palmer, one of the four artists turning out the one-of-a-kind sculptures.
“Cape Bretoners like to eat a lot of fish, so it’s been good meals and good vibrations – hanging out with friends I don’t get to see all that often.”
Joining Palmer were Liam Tromans, Tracie Dugas, and local guy Marc Timmons. All four were creating their art on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.
Palmer currently lives and works in Browns Flat, New Brunswick. Also known as “Swamp Bear,” Palmer’s works are carved entirely with a chainsaw, making his pieces one of a kind in every way.
He’s internationally recognized and, in 2017, took a gold medal in Eibau, Germany with Team Stihl Canada. He’s a People’s Choice winner at a prestigious national sculpture competition, and he’s also a two-time winner at the Atlantic Canada Sculpting Championships.
Palmer challenged himself with a two-day project at Dundee that depicted a large octopus, fitting for the saltwater view visible from Dundee Resort’s lawn.
“Once you learn how to finesse a powerful and dangerous tool, you can do it pretty quick,” he said.
Palmer wasn’t the only world champion at Dundee, as Tromans was also a member of Team Stihl in Germany. He’s also a multiple goal medalist at various national and international competitions.
Tromans is a native Cape Bretoner but he now lives in British Columbia where chainsaw carving is very popular.
Though he came out from B.C. with no sculptures made, Tromans turned out a good amount of material made during his trip out east. When speaking to The Reporter last Wednesday, he had a large eagle-inspired bench made, two large eagle statues, and a Sasquatch. That was just the material he hadn’t sold.
“Eagles are my speciality,” he said. “I’ve done hundreds of them over the years.”
He added that social media helps carvers stay in touch and, with that, the world wide web has also helped speed up the learning process.
“You can learn it much faster now,” he said. “All the carvers are on Facebook, and we’re pretty much all friends. The younger carvers are going to be way better than us.”
Dugas is a Clare, Nova Scotia resident who’s been carving for over 20 years.
She’s performed several live demonstrations at the Outdoor Sports and RV Show in Halifax, Saltscapes, Harvest Meets the Holidays in Truro, Tall Ships Festival in Digby and a Wood Carving Competition in St Andrew’s New Brunswick.
She noted that last week’s wet weather didn’t hamper the event.
“Once we got going, we were good,” she said. “It worked out really well despite the weather.
“Everyone is so nice. They’re a great group of guys. It’s really fun.”
Last but not least is Port Hawkesbury’s Marc “Saw Marcs” Timmons.
Timmons hasn’t yet amassed the experience of the other carvers but, as a 14-year-old getting ready to enter SAERC this September, he’s got lots of years ahead of him.
“We’re all making different stuff, and it’s good to be learning new things,” he said.
The visiting artists can be found online: Palmer at www.SwampBearArt.com; Tromans at www.facebook.com/liam.tromans; and Dugas at www.facebook.com/tracie.dugas.1.