Northwest Wanderings: Chain-saw sculptor sets cedar horses free
It looks like a fort outside Jeff Samudosky's studio, with the flag flying and wood piled high. He's there with a chain saw, battling Western...
Seattle Times staff photographer
It looks like a fort outside Jeff Samudosky's studio, with the flag flying and wood piled high.
He's there with a chain saw, battling Western red cedar to free the forms he envisions inside.
Samudosky — who is known for his horses — works from instinct, not drawings, intuiting what's to be created and asking himself, "Does it have emotion and power?"
Self-taught after a snowboarding injury sidetracked his career as an adventure guide 14 years ago, he borrowed his father's saw and started in on a piece of white pine.
His skill with a Stihl during 30 hours of marathon carving over three days in May led to the world-championship trophy in Germany for the three-person team he led from the U.S.
He used eight saws, souped up like race cars, and "ran them hot."
"My goal is to do my best and push myself," he said.
It can lead to unusual requests in this mostly commission-based business.
Asked to create a platypus, "I said, 'a plata-what-apus? "
He'll carve your name in wood for $300 or make a life-size stallion for as much as $25,000.
The horses are his forte.
Now competitors refer to his horse figures by Jeff's name: "It's another Samudosky."
Alan Berner: 206-464-8133 or firstname.lastname@example.org