RAEFORD, N.C. — Woodrow Hedgepeth of Raeford never knew he’d become a chainsaw carver.
What You Need To Know
Chainsaw carving is a fast-growing artform that combines the modern technology of the tool with the ancient art of woodcarving
Chainsaw carving only dates back to the 1950s
In the 1980s, the craft began to take off thanks to the Lumberjack World Championship
“I had a greenhouse nursery with my dad, but once Walmart came to town, business dwindled, and I needed to find a way to make ends meet,” Hedgepeth said.
On a trip to the mountains, he saw someone chainsaw carving and thought he’d give it a try. One thing led to another, and now, six years later, he’s chainsaw carving for a living.
“It’s just amazing that I can have a little hobby that starts real quick and just blooms to a way to make a living. It’s a blessing,” Hedgepeth said.
Hedgepeth now sells pieces of all kinds — from massive bears, owls, wolves, pets, to even baby Yodas!
He gets the wood for many of his pieces from trees knocked down from storm damage, but sometimes he has to go up north to cut down logs to keep up with the demand.
Hedgepeth didn’t have any knowledge of the craft before picking up a chainsaw, so he says when you’re at a crossroads in life, don’t sell yourself short.
“Keep plugging away. Whatever you’re doing, do the best you can at it, learn as much as you can. You never know where you’re going to end up. Keep going,” he said.
To learn more about Hedgepeth, visit Woody’s Wood Carving’s Facebook page.