“If you can think it, I can create it!” The slogan for JAG (Just A Girl) Woodworking refers to the versatility of “The Chainsaw Lady,” Gerdine van Woudenberg.
The wood sculptor will be showing off her skills Saturday, May 2 at the Alexandria and District Chamber of Commerce Trade Fair.
Since she took up wood sculpting about six years ago, the St-Eugène resident has, among other things, transformed stumps into art, turned roots into tables and fashioned chunks of wood into gnomes, horse riders, highland dancers and birds of prey.
Every piece of wood has potential. “After people have cut trees, I go on-site and turn a stump into a piece of art.” That is what she is doing now at the Glengarry Golf Course, where she works. Golfers have no doubt admired her wolf carving. Soon they will be able to appreciate a piece she is making from a clump of elm tree stumps. The result will be thistles, and a squirrel holding a golf ball.
While she prefers to work with cedar, Ms. van Woudenberg has also taken her saw and grinders to poplar, soft maple and ash. She has her own supply of logs, however, Ms. van Woudenberg also enjoys exploring woodlots for inspiration.
“There is a lot of weird stuff out there,” she says with a laugh. “People really like tables I make from roots. There are some beauties in the woods.”
The oddest limbs can often be found in dense stands, where trees morph in order to survive.
“Mother Nature is funny...it is amazing how she will allow things to grow. It is incredible to see how trees will twist and grow around each other to get to that light.”
Many homeowners have opted to decorate their lawns, gardens and decks with her unique and charming chainsaw carvings.
In addition to mushrooms and fungal pieces, Ms. van Woudenberg has created chandeliers, candle holders and an assortment of decorative items.
Mushrooms are among her more popular items. As are “solar flowers,” which are illuminated by solar-powered lights. “They are art and functional, too.” -- Richard Mahoney
Gerdine van Woudenberg’s creations include this wolf at the Alexandria golf course.