There are fine pieces of arts you can appreciate in museums, and then there are those you can find in the most unlikely places.Who would have ever thought you could create stunning works of art with a chainsaw? It’s hard enough for any ordinary person to wield such heavy and dangerous equipment, much less use it to make an intricate masterpiece with great attention to detail. Not quite sure what I’m talking about? Visit Forbidden Studios & Outdoor Gallery and see for yourself.
I have heard a lot of rave feedback from friends about chainsaw carving, which of course, prompted me to include it in my must-see places in Courtenay, BC. Several months later, the opportunity finally presented itself, when I also had a scheduled business trip to the area. The detour sure paid off. The place, along with its collection of twisted, quirky art forms were pure delight.
Not Your Regular Gallery
Nestled just along the side of the Brown River in Courtenay on Vancouver Island, you will discover a little piece of paradise. I’d personally like to think it’s very much of a fantasy world for adults as it is for kids. Several strides into the place, I was immediately greeted by beautifully painted garden rocks and chainsaw carvings.The place was practically teeming with art – in that eccentric, charming kind of way.
If you do get to visit the place, make sure to bring along your kids.Their vivid imagination will certainly run wild here.
Chainsaw artists Kevin Lewis and Angela Kroeker actually carve out British Columbian, and Canadian wood, with the skillful flicks of their chainsaws. The images were simply stunning, and the attention to detail could easily rival those made with chisels.
I found out Kevin has 15 years of experience working as a chainsaw artist, and specializes in carving mythical creatures such as tree spirits, faeries and dragons.He also has a fine collection of carved eagles, frogs, bears, all of which mostly made use of bird’s eye yellow cedar and birds eye maple.This talent has taken him all over Vancouver Island, BC and other key areas in Canada.
Other Great Attractions
Much to my dismay, I soon discovered that the two and a half hours I had allotted for the visit was simply not enough to fully enjoy what the place has to offer.For those planning to visit, consider blocking off a whole afternoon to visit Forbidden Studios & Outdoor Gallery to allow leisurely appreciation of every beautiful detail.
Aside from the outdoor carving gallery, the trail will also lead you to the sewing/upholstery area, where you also have a chance to observe other craftsmen in action. There is also a Sole Comfort Reflexology Studio, which presents a welcome respite for tired, achy feet of tourists after hours of walking.They also feature Dream Shapers Hair Studio, if you fancy snipping off some locks.
Over all, the visit turned out to be more than I expected and proved a worthwhile visit, especially for families.
Forbidden Studios & Outdoor Gallery
4010 Forbidden Plateau Rd.
Courtenay, BC V9J 1P9
Republished under Creative Commons License from West Coast Aquatic Safaris, an acclaimed Bear Watching, Whale Watching, Hot Springs Cove Tour Co & Marine Charter Co in Tofino, BC on the famed west coast of Vancouver Island. Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor.