While Basswood might excite some hand carvers, Robbin Wenzoski‘s favourite wood to work with is black walnut. Of course, he doesn’t do much hand carving when he transforms a chunk of wood into art. He prefers to work with a chainsaw and has since he first began carving eight years ago. So when he was asked to create a tree trunk sculpture for the Hamilton Road Business Association (HRBA), his first choice was black walnut to produce his newest wood carving. And look what emerged after 10 days of carving!
A Beaver Tale: The First Stop on the London Tree Trunk Tour
That’s right, Robbin carved a beaver! The lucky folks at Tile Town in London, Ontario are the first business to have a sculpture fronting on Hamilton Rd. The project was a group effort though. They had a little help from the City of London, Tourism London and Stihl Canada. Tourism London contributes one third of the cost for a tree carving. Stihl, a major manufacturer of chain saws with a head office located right here in London, contributes another third. That leaves the last third to the business that orders the piece, plus the right to proudly display the plaque proclaiming them a member of the Association.
Dave Broostad was on hand to watch the beaver get erected. He has a special interest in the Tour, as the first carving for the tree trunk tour is in his front yard! It should be no surprise that he is the Vice President of HRBA, and also the man in charge of the Tree Trunk Tour. It all started after a beloved maple of his died. Instead of just removing the tree, he looked into other options to commemorate the prominent feature. That is when he met Wenzoski and a plan was hatched.
London Tree Trunk Tour
Wenzoski carved a moose head out of black walnut and installed it onto the top of Broostad’s maple trunk. After watching traffic crawl past his home on Van St. to check out the new sculpture, Broostad approached Tourism London about extending the London Tree Trunk Tour into his neighbourhood. They agreed and issued him a plaque noting the tree’s participation in the Tour.
Broostad did not stop there though. A family of deer next emerged behind a church at the corner of Egerton St and Hamilton Rd. The beaver at Tile Town makes number three for the London Tree Trunk Tour with several more sculptures planned.
Some trees get carved in place, like the moose or deer. Other sculptures are carved off-site, then installed on a concrete slab; the beaver consisted of five sections glued and screwed together, and carved out of black walnut, maple and white ash. The London Tree Trunk Tour will keep Wenzoski and other local carvers busy for a while.
And how is it that CLC Tree Services knows about this fabulous initiative you wonder? Well, you have to get the wood from somewhere! CLC has delivered more than one load of wood to Wenzoski’s 10-acre property just south of Highgate. We are also an official sponsor of the event.
If you want to see more of Wenzoski’s work, you can check out his Facebook page, Photobucket account or even watch a video or two of him at work on YouTube. Better yet, head down to Hamilton Rd to see some of his sculptures. Contact him to order tickets to see him and a whole host of other carvers in action, during his annual CarvaPalooza in April. You just might see us there!
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