Artists who Sculpt with a Chainsaw

Many artists delicately use a brush or a palette knife, a potter’s wheel or some fine thread, but few use a lethal piece of machinery!! 

Enter the world’s top 10 chainsaw carvers, up at SkyHigh Mount Dandenong this coming January, and you’ve got yourself the Australian Chainsaw Carving Championships – held right here, every year, in the tranquil, leafy Dandenongs.

The noise reverberates around SkyHigh every January, the air thick with sawdust and the smell of two-stroke petrol, it’s (usually) a warm January day as the 10 contestants give it their all - slicing, carving and nicking their unique designs out of a solid great hunk of untreated timber.

Surely the contestants from Canada and Japan will wilt in our Aussie summer heat?  Surely our national entrants used to Aussie summers, have an advantage, Angie Polglaze and local carver and last year’s winner, Robby Bast.  Robby’s a Wandin local, so SkyHigh is pretty much on his doorstep; as a kid he’d visit SkyHigh with his family never dreaming he’d one day be up there winning cash prizes for his chainsaw art.

The competition theme last year was ‘Australiana’ and Robby’s winning entrant The Man From Snowy River will be a hard piece to top this year.  This year’s theme is ‘The Garden’, and over five days the competitors will carefully hone their own unique design into a sculpture using the three different size saws provided by event sponsor STIHL.  On the sixth and final day of the event, the carvers spend the morning speed-carving sculptures, which are then available to buy and the winners of the competition are announced.

Chainsaw sculpting is heavy work, it requires muscles and determination – anyone who’s ever used one for an hour will know what it does to your arms, your back, and how it feels when fatigue sets in.  And it does – these guys are carving over five days - creating an entire sculpture from a single piece of wood in that time!  It requires the patience of a potter, the eye of a painter and yes, the strength of a sumo wrestler.

So from 16 to 21 January 2018 come and watch in amazement as 10 giant hunks of tree are carved into prize winning pieces of incredible art.

Finally – something to take the kids to in school holidays…

SkyHigh has got you covered – the carving is a great family day out because there are plenty of other attractions for kids to enjoy including getting lost in the hedge maze, lawns and gardens to play on, bush tracks to explore, plus when everyone’s hungry – use the BBQs on site or choose from two cafes and a bistro.  And for a bit of make-believe for the smaller kids – there’s Igor the Giant’s Chair and Percy the Possum’s House to enjoy too. 

A gate entry fee of $6 per car applies, and the Chainsaw Carving Competition is a free event for everyone to marvel at.


For full details – go to

EVENT             Australian Chainsaw Carving Championship 2018

VENUE            SkyHigh, 26 Observatory Road, Mount Dandenong

DATE               Tuesday 16 - Sunday 21 January 2018


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