GAITHERSBURG — A woman, her chainsaw and large logs of wood drew dozens of spectators waiting to see a piece of art made in front of their eyes Saturday at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair.
Fairgoers, ranging from young kids to adults, watched Sara Winter transform a log into a detailed and intricate design of a bear in 42 minutes.
“It’s a lot of pressure,” Winter said.“You want to perform well and have them recognize what the carved arts actually are.”
Winter is part of an international group called The Chainsaw Chix. It is the first and only all-female wood carving team in the world.
Their group consists of five members from the United States, Canada, Australia, and Germany.
According to Winter, The Chainsaw Chix owner Jen Ruth brought the group together. Ruth books venues and shows for the chainsaw artists to perform..
Winter performs shows with the group from June to October and brings her chainsaw carving talents to various fairs and festivals across the country.
Before beginning her wood carving demonstration, she told the audience that she had been carving with a chainsaw for eight years. She mentioned she was “raised outside” and has worked with chainsaws since she was a kid.
“I saw this guy doing it and it intrigued me,” said Winter. “I really thought it was something that I could do… I was a bit of a tom-boy and I just enjoyed doing that sort of thing.”
During her Aug. 15 demonstration, Winter created the wooden bear sculpture with different kinds of chainsaws.
A detail saw helped her carve smaller spots, not only increasing the amount of detail on the artwork, but also helping to reduce the effect of kickback.
After the demonstration concluded, members of the audience looked at Winter’s other wooden sculptures, such as an owl, a dog and a turtle.
Through her own independent commissions and shows, along with The Chainsaw Chix’s shows, Winter has turned her creative passion into a full time job.
“This was just something I decided that I was going to commit to,” Winter said.
Winter, will be performing more chainsaw sculpting demonstrations each day this week at 2, 5, and 7 p.m. at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair.