Contestants of the 2017 Australian Chainsaw Carving Championship

ACCC Competitors

Robby Bast – Victoria, Australia

Rob Bast is a self-taught sculptor form the Yarra Valley. He works with various materials such as wood, steel, ice and stone.

Having always enjoyed drawing and sculpture, Rob started chainsaw carving in 2003 and then started sculpting full time in 2009 building a thriving business concentrating on chainsaw carving and metal sculpture.

Rob has been invited to compete at chainsaw sculpture competitions nationally and internationally, and won the 2015 Australian Chainsaw Carving Championship with his stunning Dragon Fly piece. This year will be his 4th straight appearance at the Championship.

Facebook: @robbastsculptor
Instagram: @rob_bast_sulptor
Website: robbastsculptor.com.au
Phone: 0417 302 475

Brandon Kroon – Victoria, Australia

Brandon Kroon has been passionate about creating, fixing and working with his hands ever since he could remember. Entering into the chainsaw carving and sculpting scene in 2013. He has done a wide selection of artworks in Australia, competed and placed in the national carving championship, and has attended numerous shows and events.

Located in Melbourne’s Outer East, in Mount Evelyn, Brandon has been mentored and trained by some of the country’s best carvers, and has developed and taken his own personal style into the industry.
For Brandon, “Creating inspiring works of art and bringing wood form to life is what chainsaw sculpture is all about”.
2017 will be the fourth year running in which Brandon has competed in the Australian Chainsaw Carving Championship, something to which he looks forward to with much anticipation.

Facebook: @BrandonKroonChainsawCarving
Instagram: @bkcarving
Website: bkcarving.com
Phone: 0430732289

Jeff Samudosky - USA

Born and raised in Shelton, Connecticut, Jeff studied art and photography in high school. After graduating, he traveled the continent as an Outward Bound instructor, ice climber, and whitewater rafting guide. In Jackson Hole, Wyoming he trained as an Alpine mountaineering guide and became certified as a wilderness emergency medical technician.

That was also the place where his life changed drastically. A crash while snowboarding left Jeff with a broken back and no feeling in his legs. After eight months of painful recovery, Jeff was back on his feet.
While visiting Vermont, he noticed some wood carvings along the side of a road. He thought, “I could do that” and that was the beginning of J.M.S. Wood Sculpture in 1998. The business has allowed Jeff to live all over the country and travel all over the world participating in competitions and become involved in the carving community.

Jeff was runner-up at the 2016 Australian Chainsaw Carving championship and returns this year for his 2nd Championship.

Facebook: @jmswoodsculpture
Instagram: @jeffsamudosky
Website: jmswoodsculpture.com

Angie Polglaze – Victoria, Australia

Angie has been a full time ‘Chainsaw Chick’ for almost 20 years. With her art practice taking her across the globe, Angie is a founding member of a wickedly talented international team of female carvers, the “Chainsaw Chix’, and is the only carver in the world to have won first place in chainsaw carving competitions in Australia, Scotland and the USA … while taking many seconds and placing high in numerous other events, especially in Europe and the US.

Angie has completed many successful projects in schools working closely with the students on design and finish of lasting projects for their schools. “Kids have the best ideas !!”

She will make to order and is a popular performer at festivals and community events.
“It is said that life is a journey, and mine has been a fabulous creative adventure … I love it. I’m really looking forward to Skyhigh again. Such a cool event in a beautiful setting, and a terrific opportunity to catch up”

Facebook: @angie.polglaze
Instagram: @angiepolglaze
Website: angela-polglaze.com

Hikaru Kodama - Japan

Hikaru is a regular at the Australian Chainsaw Carving Championship with 2017 marking his 4th year. Yet to place outside the top 2, Hikaru placed 1st in 2014 and 2016 and 2nd in 2015, he must be amongst the favourites yet again this year.

Hikaru travels the world competing in various competitions as well as being commissioned for many big pieces, His distinctive style “Tree Spirits” winning him many first places.


Website: tree-spirts-art.com
Facebook: @hikaru.kodama
Instagram: @tree_spirits_art

Matt Bird – Queensland, VIC

Matt has been carving part time as a hobby since 2010 and placed 3rd place in the 2016 Australian Chainsaw Carving Championships as well as receiving the people's choice award which is voted for by visitors of the competition. Matt’s moto is “turning trees into Art” and can be seen at local shows across his home region of the Gold Coast Hinterland as well as across Queensland.


Facebook: @MattBirdsChainsawCarving
Instagram: @matt_bird_chainsaw_carving

Molly Wiste – Minnesota, USA

Molly teaches art in Northern Minnesota. She enjoys art, and spent time oil painting before she started carving. Once Molly moved to Northern Minnesota she met some great people that were more than willing to share their knowledge of carving with.

After taking a lesson in Scandinavian Flat Plane carvings, she began carving small 7'' figures with a knife, after showing her wears to a local shop Molly was offered a lesson in chainsaw carving and never looked back “I love chainsaw carving because of the speed, and the large size of the carvings I am able to create; they have large impact. I enjoy the wood because it's natural, and has beauty marks like knots, cracks, worm holes, and wood grain”.

Molly has now started to carve at town events and carving competitions and enjoys the challenge, as well as being able to carve next to amazing carvers from around the world. 2017 is Molly’s first time competing in the Australian Chainsaw Carving Championships.

Website: www.wistewoodworks.com
Facebook: @molly.poluswiste
Instagram: @wistewoodworks

Martin Komarek - Czech Republic

Chainsaw Carving might not be what Martin is commenly known for, He’s currently World Number 3 in the STIHL Timbersports Series of competitive wood chopping. But when Martin isn’t chopping and sawing pieces of wood in half, he’s turning them into works of art.

The 2017 Australian Chainsaw Carving Championships will be his first competition, but Martin has many commissioned pieces on display all across Czech Republic in a number of museums and public gardens and parks.

Rodger Hannemann – Queensland, Australia

Rodger is a self-taught sculptor from Queensland. “I have been sculpting as a hobby over the past 8 years but decided to get serious in 2016 and follow my dreams of becoming a full-time chainsaw artist. I have done shows throughout Queensland and New South Wales which have been a blast - There is nothing better than the look of disbelief on people’s faces as you bring a log back to life”.

 

Steve Kenzora - Canada

After missing last year’s event, 2017 will be Steve’s 3rd year at the Australian Chainsaw Carving Championship, and the crowd favorite is a welcome addition back to the line-up.

Steve has been chainsaw carving for more than 24 years and has even sold a paiece to Neil Young and a member of the Cranberries. Once favouring to carve human-featured statutes he now prefers Canadian wildlife and has taken on Australian wildlife in previous competitions much to the crowds delight.
“Carving is the best thing that ever happened to me, It puts me in a happy place, it fixies everything”