When Joe Wavra was looking for a portable building to use as a showroom for his wood carvings he was impressed with the quality of the sheds that he saw on one of our display lots. But we were impressed with him when we heard what he was doing with the shed and saw some of his unique artwork that he would be storing and displaying in the shed.

Joe is a chainsaw carver, a unique form of art that is mastered by only a small number of artists around the country. Using a chainsaw, his own creativity, and a skilled eye he creates beautiful wood sculptures out of large chunks of wood. What many of us see as normal tree trunks, Joe sees as potential pandas, eagles, trolls, or even Santa gnomes.

Chainsaw carver in north dakota
Chainsaw carving in thief river falls
Chainsaw carving eagle in north dakota

When Joe and his wife Chris, got married one of their dreams was to build their own log home. Both of them were DIY-type people with artistic talents, so building a log home was the kind of challenge they were looking for. After finishing that project, Joe continued to tinker with other DIY projects and eventually tried his hand at chainsaw carving. He loved it! 17 years later he is still carving.

For many years, carving was simply a side-kick for Joe as he worked a full-time job. He would often carve at special events or festivals and would spend his free time doing custom carving jobs for others. The demand for his work kept growing, so 4 years ago, he quit his job and started working full-time for his own business, Klondike Carvings. Chris, his wife, also works alongside him using her artistic skills in crafting pottery and other types of art.

Chainsaw carver klondike carvings in red lake falls minnesota
Chainsaw carver studio shed in minnesota

Being located in Northwestern Minnesota, Joe gets a lot of requests to do on-site carvings at vacation properties and cabins around the area lakes. In the Spring, Summer and Fall months he also spends a lot of time carving and selling at shows. He uses the cold winter months to complete custom orders and build up his inventory (when he’s not clearing snow). The world of chainsaw carving creates a unique camaraderie among the carvers. During the summer, Joe will often spend time with a group of 5 other carvers that have become close carving friends. Together they make the sawdust fly.

Chainsaw carver team in north dakota

We asked Joe about his perspective on the talent and skill that is needed to be a chainsaw carver. While he admits that it does take a lot of practice and honing skills, he also stated that it takes a special kind of artistic talent to be able to do carving. “It’s a weird art” he says. “You are working in reverse. Most artists are creating things by putting together, but we carvers have to create by taking away. You got to know what you want before you start because it is a backwards way of doing art.

Some carvers will sketch out what they want before they wade-in with their chainsaw. But Joe skips this step and just gets started carving. He says, “I don’t draw anything out beforehand or use any templates. I just get started with my saw. I can draw better with a saw than I can draw on paper. Carving really becomes more about muscle memory than mind work. My best work is done when I just shut my mind off and let my hands do the work.” This statement obviously comes from an artist with a natural talent, a talent which is quickly evidenced in the amazing sculptures he creates.

And people are paying attention. Klondike Carvings keeps Joe busy as he fulfills custom orders, attends events, and keeps his inventory stocked. It was the need for an indoor showroom to display his inventory and protect his carving from the weather that brought Joe in touch with us here at Northland Sheds.

As he was shopping for a shed to use as a showroom, he noticed our sheds on display at one of our lots near Grand Forks, Minnesota. “Your sheds were built a lot better than other sheds I was looking at,” Joe said. “They also looked better, but the quality details were what impressed me.”

Joe called us up and ordered a 12×24 building that he had seen on the lot. Buying this shed is “one of the best things I’ve done” says Joe. Like many of our customers, he was especially impressed with the delivery process and the expertise of our driver in placing the shed using our Shed Mule.

Chainsaw carver studio shed mule

But what is impressing us is the work Joe has done to finish out the interior of his shed to make it worthy of being a showroom for Klondike Carvings. He started off by insulating the interior and running electrical wiring. He then added two more windows to the windows that were already included with his shed. The next step was lining the walls with poplar lumber that Joe got from a local sawmill and planed himself. This created a showroom ambience inside the shed, making it the perfect place to display his carvings.

Chainsaw carver studio shed gallery near grand forks minnesota
Chainsaw carver gallery for klondike carvings

We are confident this building will serve Joe for many years and will house many amazing wood sculptures. If you are interested in learning more about Klondike Carvings or would like to get a wood carving of your own, check out Joe’s Facebook page here (https://www.facebook.com/joe.wavra)  or send him an email at klondikecarvings@gmail.com.

You can also go see Joe in action at these upcoming events:

  • April 13 &14: Thief River Falls Home, Sport, and Family Show (https://www.facebook.com/TRFHomeShow/)
  • July 25-28: Red Lake Falls Summerfest – Come see Joe and His 5 Friends in action with an auction on Saturday evening for the carvings.

And, of course, we’re going to put in a plug for our sheds. If you are needing more space in your life, whether it be for extra storage, workspace, she shed, man cave, hobby room, etc… our buildings will not disappoint. Click below to start browsing our lineup of quality sheds and join Joe in the club of happy Northland Shed customers.