Little incidents in life can shape destiny. This rings so true in the case of Josh Carte. Had it not been for a chance visit to the chainsaw shop owned by his best friend, he wouldn’t have become the celebrated chainsaw sculptor that he is today.
The chainsaw bug bit him when his friend demonstrated its operation and maintenance. And when he saw the mushrooms carved in solid wood with a chainsaw at his friend’s house, it excited him no end and inspired him to become a chainsaw carver.
His initial attempts at wielding an over-sized chainsaw were not only risky but produced some unpleasant results. But, he had already fallen in love with this tool and, as he puts it, with “the idea of turning nothing into something”.
It took Carte several years to master chainsaw carving. However, his desire to make more detailed wooden sculptures made him give up the chainsaw and opt for smaller tools. He set out to carve faces, also called Wood Spirit Carvings.
Face carvings did not come easy to Carte, but he was in no mood to give up and relentlessly kept at it. He put his full focus on studying the faces to be carved and practised carving them. In fits and starts, his carving improved, even though it took several years for him to fully master his carvings that appeared pleasing to the eye.
Carte’s time is spent in walking in the woods in search of woods that inspire him and ignite his creative mind. According to him, there is no dearth of beauty in Mother Nature’s bounty, one has to possess the eye to perceive it. He spends hours in search of pine knots, burls and driftwood, and considers this his favourite pastime.
Carte loves the tranquillity of the forest and finds it both therapeutic and inspirational. At times, Carte also involves his family in search of driftwood and ‘found woods’, taking them on road trips in search of them.
Currently residing in the Hocking Hills in Southeast Ohio, US, Carte carries out his wood carving and sculpting on a daily basis. He has been at it for over eight years and, as he puts it, “this is what makes me happy and this is how I make my living”.
Carte’s rich experience in wood art has enabled him to experiment with many new tools. He is now capable of using from the biggest to the smallest tools and all in between. Certainly, his wooden creations are only limited by his imagination.