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.
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…
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.
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!
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!
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!