Put away the brushes and break out the chain saws

Wielding a chain saw, Enrique Thomas of Gold Bar, Wash. carves a statue last year at Logs to Frogs in Milton-Freewater. Nicole Barker/for The Hermiston Herald

Rather than clay and a potter's wheel or a paintbrush and canvas, carvers wielding chain saws will create frogs and other items from logs during the fourth annual Chainsaw Carving Event.

The former Logs to Frogs has been expanded to an open event, with artists competing in a carver's choice. The event will begin with morning carves at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday across from Express Car Wash on Highway 11 and Columbia Street in Milton-Freewater.

For up-close and fast action, set your alarm for the 1 p.m. Quick Carve both days. Carvers have 75 minutes to create a wooden sculpture from their logs. The winner will be determined from the amount garnered during auctions at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. The main pieces crafted during the morning and afternoon carves will be auctioned off Sunday afternoon.

Jerry Miller, from Weston has been the lone local resident to participate the last couple of years. The competition, which pays out cash and prizes, draws artists from across the Pacific Northwest.

The unique medium is gaining popularity in the United States and abroad according to Boaz Backus, a carver and chainsaw event promoter, has been auctioneer for the event.

Backus recommends people attend the auctions during these small events.

Backus' family are pioneers in chainsaw carving.

"My mother was the first woman chainsaw carver," Backus said.

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