McEntire touts new carving bar at seminar

RIDGWAY - Jack McEntire of Selah, Wash. spoke to fellow chainsaw carvers Wednesday morning touting the new Sioux carving bar and the need for an arts television channel as part of the daily seminars offered at Appalachian Arts Studio in Ridgway.Joining McEntire in his presentation was Dave Tremko of Chugiak, Alaska.The seminars are being offered in conjunction with the 12th annual Ridgway Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous.McEntire explained how a carving bar is one of the most popular tools of the trade for chainsaw carvers and that the new Sioux Bar was created to last longer and has more capabilities than a standard carving bar. Throughout the process of creating the Sioux Bar, McEntire acted as a Beta tester, working with its creator, an experienced machinist and metallurgist."I started using the Sioux bar four years ago. We changed the design and the steel until we finally came up with the design after 16 months," McEntire explained. "I have tried every brand of bar in my 14 years of carving full-time, and this is by far the best carving bar in the world. I normally go through three to four bars a year as they burn out and chip out. The Sioux Bar will last years and years and is capable of doing things that none other can."The bar's tip is used in a way which would destroy a normal dime tip. In addition, its shape allows carvers to scoop out wood better, as well as maintain a consistent profile.He added that he has been using his current Sioux Bar for the past 18 months. "It's really unbelievable from a carver's point of view," he noted.McEntire is joined at this year's rendezvous by fellow members of the Wolfpack, a group of artists working on establishing an arts television channel."At events like this, instead of doing quick carve stuff, we come up with several different approaches (to showcase carving) such as a cage match (where carvers do their work inside a fenced-off area), musical bears and what I saw, where people do what made them famous," McEntire explained. "We are trying to make the public more interested in art in general. We jazz things up a little."He added that carvers send the group videos of them doing their craft at various events across the country. "We want to show a network that we can deliver all different mediums to them. Just bring us the camera crews," he added.This year marks McEntire's third trip to the rendezvous.