What made you decide to add power carving to your repertoire?
My art background started in painting and drawing before adventuring down the path of wood carving. I craved more of a tactile, 3D art experience and a physical challenge. I admired chainsaw carvings as seen on a trip to British Columbia, Canada. I was very intrigued and inspired by them, but initially thought I could never do that, being a weak girl and all (hello, toxic and limiting belief system!) After going through some difficult life experiences, I craved a way to reclaim my power, to take control of my life, to break down gender limitations, to redefine my strength, and carve out space to express my story. Power tools called my name, I answered by embracing power carving as an art profession.
What is your favorite power carving tool and why?
Right now, my favorite power carving tool is the Arbortech Turbo Plane. It’s an extremely versatile and efficient tool for the medium-to-large-scale wood carvings I work on. I use it for free-hand shaping and carving, along with leveling out flat surfaces. It feels very safe and easy to handle on the Arbortech Power Carving Unit, and I love the smooth finish it leaves.
What impact has power carving had on your art/passion/livelihood?
Power carving is my way to celebrate female empowerment, to rise above gender stereotypes, to process and heal from past traumas, and embrace a deeply therapeutic connection to nature. I view the carving process as a powerful co-creation between myself (the artist) and the legacy of the tree by embracing its natural character, its symbolic cracks, and knots of personality which guide and enhance the artistic design. Within the art of power carving, I have found a friend in the medium of wood which absorbs and resonates with my senses and emotions.
What advice would you give to people who are thinking of getting into power carving?
So, you’re thinking of getting into power carving... why haven’t you already? What’s stopping you? Obviously, the inspiration has already sparked something deep within you and there’s a desire… a dream… an interest to try something new. And now, it’s up to you to step up to the plate to make your sawdust dreams come true!
Chances are, what’s holding you back from getting started is a protective mechanism, negative self-talk, a self-limiting belief, or a fear of failure. My advice is to kick those negative thoughts to the curb, because those types of excuses and fears prevent you from living up to your potential and they’ll never serve you in the best way.
Instead, reframe that inner dialogue to the positive. Believe that you CAN do this. Sure, you may not have all the knowledge or answers right now - but you are smart, creative, and resourceful, so you will figure it out and find a way to make it happen in a way that is best for you. Creativity takes courage. Give yourself permission to answer the calling and explore the path that power carving will lead you on!