White uses chainsaw to sculpt wood art

1 of 3

By Anna Goodwin McCarthy

Saturday, October 15, 2016

With a chainsaw in his hands, each movement of the blade sculpts a piece of wood into art.

For the last year and a half, Adam White has carved wooden logs into sculptures.

“I’ve always loved art,” said White.

While White majored in art at the College of the Albemarle, White said he never participated in classes on wood carving.

Self-taught, White said he has tried different techniques and learned what works through trial and error.

As the owner of Adam’s Landscaping and Lawn Care since 2000, White said he works with the natural landscape and often finds materials while landscaping.

White said after cutting down a tree, he will sometimes utilize the wood in his carvings giving it a new life.

Using all types of wood as a medium for his craft, White primarily works with white and red cedar.

White built a structure in his backyard last winter for the purpose of creating his sculptures.

“If it is raining and I am not landscaping, I am carving,” said White.

White puts on his headphones and listens to music while sculpting his pieces in the backyard using chain saws, chisels and grinders.

“It’s therapeutic to clear my thoughts,” said White.

“Sometimes I will sketch things out,” said White, describing the initial steps of his process.

White said he is inspired to create pieces that are a reflection of the landscapes and wildlife of the area. His pastimes include kayaking and camping and spending time with his two sons, Gavin and Collin and his girlfriend, Dana. He also serves as vice-chair of the Urban Forestry Commission.

White’s fondness for the outdoors is evident in his wood carvings.

Originally from Elizabeth City, White said he grew up surfing. His passion for surfing is reflected in his Polynesian style tiki sculptures.

A fan of Star Wars, White said he sculpted the four foot tall Ewok, Wicket. He said this particular sculpture is popular with his two sons.

“They love it,” said White. “My oldest son is always giving me ideas.”

White said he has also sculpted Christmas trees and pumpkins.

White was juried into the Albemarle Craftsman’s Guild this year. He will display his wood carvings at the 58th Albemarle Craftsman’s Fair on Oct. 28-30 at the Knobbs Creek Recreation Center in Elizabeth City.

“My mother has been in the fair my entire life,” said White. “I feel like it has been a custom in my family.”

White’s mother, Debbie, who is a doll maker, will also be displaying her enchanting collection of cloth dolls this year at the fair.

“I definitely get the creative gene from my mother,” said White.

White said he is looking forward to demonstrating his craft at the fair. He plans on bringing some chisels and a mallet to showcase his sculpting process for people attending the fair.

“I am excited to be a part of it,” said White.

For more information about the Albemarle Craftsman’s Fair visit http://www.albemarlecraftsmansfair.com/default.html.

White’s wood carvings can be viewed on his “Coastal Carver” Facebook page.