WOMEN and chainsaws are not usually mentioned in the same sentence – except when the woman is chainsaw artist Angie Polglaze.
The Hastings resident carves timber into eye-catching shapes and has won more awards than any other female carver in the world.
Her skills have earned her a Service to the Arts Award from the United Chainsaw Carvers Guild in 2011 for her “encouragement and inspiration to women carvers everywhere”.
Their challenge is to carve sculptures from a single piece of wood.
This year’s theme is The Garden.
“Chainsaw carving is mind-boggling,” said Ms Polglaze, who draws her inspiration “from life” and learned her craft mainly from watching fellow competitors.
The arts honours graduate’s 22 years as a wood carver included a decade “living out of a suitcase” while travelling the world.
Times have changed: “Five years ago I got a house and a mortgage, two dogs and a cat, and decided not to travel so much. I’ve got critters who count on me.”
Ms Polglaze loves giving renewed life to cypress pine which is her favoured material as it “doesn’t split, holds together and paints well”.
“I find the events exciting. Coming from an arty background I use a lot of colour – that’s my trademark.”
This week Ms Polglaze competes in the annual Australian Chainsaw Carving Competition at the SkyHigh Observatory, Mt Dandenong, 16-21 January. Her nine opponents include Canadian Marina Cole and men from the US and Japan.