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Carver gives wood a second life

February 10, 2016   ·   0 Comments

By Mark Pavilons


carving eagle
A true artist can see past the obvious.
For one local wood carver, the grains and texture of wood mean much more. In fact, Beeton’s Dave Kerr breathes new life into his creations with stunning detail.
Kerr has enjoyed wood working and art since he was a teenager. He was sidelined for a time when he battled cancer and he taught himself to carve in two distinct styles. That was in 1991. The rest, as they say, is history.
Most recently, Kerr has taken chain saw in hand to make large, six-foot statues, mostly of wildlife and eagles. The sheer size brings the animals’ majesty to the forefront.
He used to go to art shows and had his work on consignment, but he prefers to keep plugging away, building stock for his retirement project. He does hope to establish an online marketing presence shortly to market his pieces.
He enjoys carving people and wildlife and his best work is a method known as intarsia carving. This is a style that uses various species of wood selected, inch by inch, for their colour, grain and texture. The wood is sculpted in three dimensions and then assembled into a mosaic-like deep relief work of art. They are truly one of a kind pieces that involve a lot of TLC.
It’s intricate work, to be sure, and Kerr has developed quite an eye and technique that really make them pop.
He starts with a drawing as a template and finds the natural and exotic woods to assemble. Some of the woods are imported from around the world and can be quite costly, he pointed out. In some works, you can see the greens, reds and oranges of beautiful wood species.
One of his large pieces is a buffalo that measures some four feet across. You can almost see the animal’s fur blowing in the prairie breezes.
Regarding his chain saw creations, where some see a log, he sees an image. He begins by blocking it out and then getting to work with the fine details. He uses as many as five different chain saws, grinders and sanders to perfect a carving.
He admits that he often “gets lost in the art” and he’s a stickler for detail and intricate work. He finds it very relaxing and it takes his mind off everyday worries.
Kerr simply loves watching a piece come together to take on a new form for others to enjoy. It really gets the adrenalin flowing and sometimes it’s hard to stop.
He likes working with the softer white pine, which doesn’t tend to crack easily. Butternut and cedar are other nice woods to work with.
For the larger chain saw carvings, customers use them both indoors and out. They appeal to a wide variety of tastes.
For more, look for northtimberwoodart on Facebook. If you’d like to contact Dave, email him at

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