Chainsaw art entertains at logging conference

EUGENE, Ore.- The Oregon Logging Conference is known as a heavy equipment expo but there is also room for art.

Brian Vorwaller, a chainsaw carver from Eugene, has been treating loggers to some custom pieces of art and the entertainment of watching him work.

Vorwaller has been a custom carver for four years and competes as well. He won a 2nd place People Choice Award at the Cedar Festival in Port Orford in 2011.

"It's very difficult, it is the minus game. You can take more off but you can't put any back," Vorwaller said.

Little by little he removes layers of wood to produce pieces depicting wildlife, fish, people and lots of bears.

"That's the nostalgia of chainsaw carving bears are what made it famous to begin with. More or less what it is known for and who can beat a cute little bear," Vorwaller said.

Vorwaller moved to Eugene in January and opened his own gallery called Artist Extreme. He sells his art and makes custom pieces there.

His chainsaw may have some slight modifications that make is safer and give it less kick but it is still a chainsaw. He wears protective goggles, gloves and ear muffs while carving. While the outside world hears the shredding of his chainsaw, Vorwaller says he usually is listening to music while he carves away.

"Most of the time it is country music, something smooth. When I am competing I will put in some real fast upbeat music," Vorwaller said.