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July 15, 2012 at 9:58 PM

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NW Wanderings: Chain-saw artist sets cedar horses free


Wood artist with a chainsaw, Jeff Samudosky works in Western red cedar on the figure of a wild Mustang rearing up. He does 90% of the work with a chainsaw and 10% with chisel and grinders. This started as a 1/2-scale practice piece for a Canadian competition.

It looks like a fort outside Jeff Samudosky's studio with the flag flying and wood piled high. He's there with a chainsaw to do battle freeing forms he envisions in Western red cedar.

Known for his horses, Samudosky asks, "does it have emotion and power?"

He works from instinct, not drawings, intuiting what's to be created. 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 a on a piece of white pine.


In his Gig Harbor shop Jeff Samudosky moves a commissioned piece that will eventually have a rider atop it. Hollowed out, it weighs more than 1,000-pounds.

This May his skill with a Stihl after 30-hours of marathon carving led to the world championship trophy in Germany for the three-person team he led from the U.S. He traveled there with 8 saws, enlivened like race cars and "ran them hot."

"My goal is to do my best and push myself."

It can lead to unusual requests in this business of mostly commissions. Asked to produce a platypus, "I said "a plataWhatApus?'

He'll carve your name in wood for $300 or a life-size stallion for $25,000.

But horses are his forte'.

Now competitors refer to his horse figures by Jeff's name. "It's another Samudosky."

For more info on Samudosky, visit

For more photos, visit the gallery.

Check out other recent NW Wanderings posts:
Zen and the art of landing a punch
Crazy for the glow of neon
Trunk show for a threadbare season
Running with the Rocket Dog pack

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This is wickedly cool MORE