We absolutely love Paul Edwards artistic ability, creating awesome intricate wooden scuptures using power tools and drawing on inspiration from his interests from the creative world and extreme sports. Paul manages to create intricate work even using relatively large power tools, with one of our favourites being his surfboard carving pictured below. Paul is turning his hobby into work and has an exciting future ahead of him. We hope to see him at future surf events and festivals showcasing his talents. We discovered a project he is working on to support the work of the RNLI and we find out about his hopes of collaborations. Here’s his interview with us.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
My names Paul (Eddie) Edwards, I’m 30 years of age and I’m a chainsaw sculptor based in Chester in the northwest of England. I love visiting anywhere around the coast, but especially around Cornwall where I visit various times a year and am looking to move my business to in the next couple of years. This means I can bring the inspiration to my work closer to me. My Interests include Art, Music, watching skate, snow & surf movies, attempting to surf ( I do hope to do more very soon) and watching TV and movies.
What inspires your artwork?
As an artist I wanted to stand out from the other sculptors and have always had a massive passion for the sea and coast and had spent my youth skating and reading surf magazines and thought, how could I put this into my sculptures. So, I started sketching ideas down and saw there was a pattern of surf culture and nautical design in my artwork. I have dabbled at surfing and am definitely going to do more to give me inspiration.
Are are you working on a sculpture at the moment?
I am currently finishing off a sculpture of an antique driving helmet that I am hoping to auction off to help the RNLI. I also work on commission, so have a few small projects on at the moment (one of a husky and another of a small fairy house). The beauty of sculpting on commission is that you get to produce work you never thought you would do, which can help to learn techniques to try out on new surf art sculptures.
What do you like about working with a chainsaw and sculpting wood?
I still think it is awesome that I can use a very dangerous power tool and home it in to produce fine delicate detail, and I have always loved wood as a material. As sad as it is that trees sometimes have to come down, I just love being able to bring the material back to life and make others smile in the process.
How did you turn your hobby into a business?
I had jumped from job to job since finishing a music degree about 10 years ago, never feeling satisfied and not using my potential of being a creative. About 4 years ago I ended up becoming a tree surgeon and met an amazing chainsaw sculptor who took me under his wing. After seeing that I had the eye to produce sculptures he started hiring me out under his name. I did this on and off but mainly doing tree work to pay the bills. One day I just got fed up of not using my full potential, so I decided it was time to start up on my own, which is when I created Ossum Tree Carving. I am still doing bits of tree work but hoping to be creating artwork as a full time job very soon.
What is your dream project?
I would love to collaborate with some surf & skate companies and provide work for surf shops. I have recently started doing much bigger sculptures, so I’m looking forward to more of that. I have always been stoked on the idea of having pieces of work looking out to the sea for everyone to enjoy.
Where can we find your work?
At the moment I have been doing mainly private commissions that end up in people’s gardens, but I always post pictures on ossumtreecarving.co.uk and there are links to my social media pages and I’m always trying to post as much as possible to share my work.
Do you have any hobbies outside of work and what are they? Have they influenced your work in any way?
It has mainly been about work the last decade or so and a large part of that was as a chef, so I didnt have much time for hobbies, but I now do a lot of drawing, and go to an indoor snowboarding centre in Manchester every so often. I am finally fulfilling a life long dream of surfing which is extremely exciting for me as I have wanted to do this since I stood on a skate board when I was 11. I am also going to start Yoga as a way to keep fit and for mindfulness. I’m hoping this will clear my head and keep the creative juices flowing. I use all these influences to fuel the movement in the saw.
You’ve been to carving events in the past, do you enjoy people watching while you make your sculptures?
Yeah I have done some small carving demos throughout the years, mainly just carving owls and stuff like that, but now my work has become more detailed and ambitious. I am pushing the boat out alot more at events and carved at my first major carving event (the Rhug Country Fair) amongst 8 of the UK’s best chainsaw artists, which gave me the awesome chance to carve a large scale sculpture of my choice. This has given me many ideas for future carves. It does make me nervous carving at events with eyes on you, but once that saw starts I’m absorbed by what I’m doing and become at one with the art work with full focus, so I always end up being absolutely stoked to have done any event. It is truly an amazing thing to share with people and at the end see their reactions and speak to the public.
Do you have any plans for the future? Can we see you at any events or festivals in the near future?
I am going to apply for some major events next year. I’m also hoping to set up stalls at some surfing events and festivals to showcase and sell some of my work in 2018. As a fairly new company my aim at the moment is just getting my name around and practicing as much as I possibly can and really homing into my own style. I’m really excited by the idea of finding the right clients to be able to have the freedom to sculpt much more of the surf art work and maybe even do some commercial work for the Surf sector.
I do, I have a few beaches that are special to me, I go to Padstow once a year and just love the Camel estuary and the town. I’m not sure why, but it has always been my happy place. Treyarnon and Fistral are wicked beaches and see some absolutely killer surfing there. Back up North I usually drive into North Wales going to Rhosneigr in Anglesea and Hells Mouth in Abersoch. All these beaches have been a massive influence to my work and my life. They all just clear my mind and are just amazing places to just feel more alive and be at one with the elements.
Visit Ossum Tree carving.