Carve Carrbridge 2013

Carve Carrbridge 2013

For those of you who have never heard of this event, Carve Carrbridge is an annual chainsaw carving competition which is held in the picturesque village of Carrbridge in the Cairngorms National Park. The event, which is also referred to as the ‘Scottish Open Chainsaw Carving Competition’ attracts professional carvers from right across the globe and this year was no exception with carvers in attendance from the USA, Canada, the Aland Islands and Ireland as well as a number of well known carvers from both Scotland and England.

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This was my third time attending Carve Carrbridge and I can confirm that as with most fine things it only gets better with age! This year the event attracted over 3000 spectators and sported a brand new layout which made viewing of the competition far more enjoyable and I have to say that the standard of carvings at this years event was incredible, so much so that we came home with another auction piece, but more on that later!


Throughout the day there was a number of activities and attractions to keep all the family occupied including The Clan Cycle Stunt Team who put on a great daredevil display, a number of interesting local stalls, axe throwing (trickier than it sounds) and green wood working with the Forestry Commission as well as an appearance or two from the Badenoch & Strathspey Pipe Band. Then there was of course, both mine and Snow Dog Beau’s speciality area…the food! The selection for food and drink wasn’t vast and I think this is something they could maybe do more with for future events, especially with all the fantastic food and drink producers right on the doorstep but what we did sample was pretty good, as you will see from the photos below…

Carve Carrbridge 2013 Carve Carrbridge 2013 Carve Carrbridge 2013 Carve Carrbridge 2013 Carve Carrbridge 2013 Carve Carrbridge 2013

The competition itself see’s each carver getting a total of four hours to create their competition masterpieces…not very long when you see the size of the logs they begin with! Each of these items are then auctioned off at the end giving everyone attending the event the opportunity to bid the highest to try and take home one or more of the pieces and this is where my weakness lies…I just can’t keep my hands down! Last year my twitchy hand saw my dad go home with a delightful tree hugging bear bench (which certainly makes for a great talking point in the garden) and this year it saw me come home with a rather funky and unique dragonfly riding gnome carved by newcomer Mal McEwen from the USA. The photo below shows Mal (also referred to as the MalHatter) standing proudly next to his piece (well my piece now) after the main auction.

Carve Carrbridge 2013

Following on from the ‘main carve’ there is then also a ‘quick carve’ which see’s all the entrants create a smaller carving from a much smaller log in just thirty minutes, these pieces also get auctioned off at the end with all proceeds going back into the local community. And once again the standard of these pieces were very high and I’m sure a few gardens across the area are looking a bit more fun now!

Carve Carrbridge 2013

Another great thing about going to Carve Carrbridge for a day out is that it is also a very fun and social day out for our four legged friends! Snow Dog Beau was in his element throughout the day with lots of other dogs and puppies to play with and say hello to, lots of new smells and some great woodland walks in the village of Carrbridge to explore during the ‘main carve’ interval. You will see below that Snow Dog Beau also loved licking out the pot from our tasty strawberries and cream!

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The final results from the day were as follows:

1st – Peter Bowsher with ‘Blast from the Past’
2nd – Iain Chalmers with ‘Catch of the Day’
3rd – Tim Burgess with ‘Eagle on the Rocks’

People’s Choice – Peter Bowsher with ‘Blast from the Past’
Best New Entrant – Mal McEwen with ‘Flying Hi’

Well done to all involved; organisers and competitors and we look forward to next years event!

Carve Carrbridge 2013

    • Fergus Thom

      Great blog post Michelle! The carvers all say what a challenge Carve Carrbridge is… it’s the only competition in the world that is 4 hours!! Most others are up to 30!

      • Michelle Russell

        Thanks Fergus! Wow, that makes it even more impressive then! :)

    • Carol Ritchie

      Michelle I am one of the organisers and I would just like to say thank you for your fantastic blog! It is so appreciated to have all our hard work and planning acknowledged by people we do not even know. The date for next years event is Saturday 30th August 2014. Watch this space!

      • Michelle Russell

        No problem Carol, it was a great day, best one yet so well done to you and the team! See you next year!

    • MAL Mcewen

      Thanks for the great compliments. It was my pleasure in you getting my piece I know it went to a great home.

      • Michelle Russell

        Thanks Mal and thank you for creating such a funky piece! :)

    • Cheryl Harvey

      Great post Michelle, we have been bringing our toys to this event for the past seven years, and it is absolutely honestly the highlight of my year, I love it. The first year I attended I watched the logs transform into works of art. I remember thinking the half time blower signalled the end of the competition and was really impressed, but then the carvers came back to their logs after lunch and the final results were (and still are) totally amazing.

      • Michelle Russell

        Thanks Cheryl! I just love the buzz (quite literally) of the whole event! I grew up surrounded by wood and chainsaws as my dad works in forestry but never quite realised how far the skill of chainsaws went until I attended my first Carve Carrbridge event 3 years ago, such skill!


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