McLain creates unique yet functional wood carvings

Chainsaw Carver Brett McLain, 34, of Fredon, N.J., not only creates unique wood carvings but works to promote other carvers' work as part of his business, Freehand Custom Carving, which he established six years ago."We host carvers from all over the country and all over the world at our shop," McLain said. "We are continuing to create a budget to push the envelope of standard chainsaw carvings."McLain is a veteran of the annual Ridgway Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous, having participated in the "vous" in the last 11 of its 12 years. "It is a great learning experience. It is the most important event in the world for chainsaw carving," McLain said. "Because it is the largest event, there are many people to talk to and learn new ideas and new techniques from."He added that one of his favorite aspects of the rendezvous is seeing other carvers that he only gets to see once or twice a year.Throughout the year, McLain attends between three and four competitions. He has placed in the top three spots in regular competition at the English Open in England, Carve Carrbridge in Scotland, as well as an event in Germany last year.While he is unsure about what he plans to carve for his auction piece at the rendezvous this year, he plans to showcase a piece entitled, "Chainsaw Cash.""I generally try to make something that makes a unique statement or is creative in the presentation," McLain said.He noted that he enjoys carving people, horses and abstract furniture. A majority of his pieces are sold to customers in the New York City area, but throughout the country as well. He caters to both private and corporate clients alike.McLain added that he carves whenever he feels inspired, whether that be on a daily basis some weeks or not at all during other weeks. According to McLain, he prefers carving with walnut, cherry and maple hardwoods for their characteristics, durability and beautiful colors.