WILTON, Iowa–Six years ago on a snowmobiling trip up north, Clint Henik first became interested in chainsaw art. Seeing beautifully carved bears and log furniture he looked to purchase some for himself, but quickly found that each piece came with a hefty price tag. Still looking to spruce up his place he recalls, “I took a chain saw from around the farm, and the rest is history.”
Through a lot of what Henik describes as, “trial and error,” he learned the techniques for carving with a chainsaw and perfected his craft. By traveling to a number of chainsaw art competitions, Henik also had opportunities to get, “a hold of a couple of Iowa carvers and got them to teach me a thing or two.”
For three years, Henik carved as a side job, creating many bears, eagles, and name logs for impressed customers along with a variety of other bespoke orders. Henik found great joy in his work. “The options are endless what you can make out of wood,” he said. “It’s all hand done–you can’t go to the store and buy anything like this, especially the custom work people want done.”
Encouraged by all the orders he received, Henik started carving full time in 2017. Since then, his business, Carverway in Mount Vernon, has remained incredibly popular. Since first opening his shop, Henik has created many pieces for local Iowa residents, including those in Muscatine County.
Along with carving smaller pieces for people’s houses and yards, Henik also does the occasional larger tree stump carving. A few weeks ago, he received a request from a family in Wilton to covert a dead tree on their property into a work of art. Henik elaborated that they requested a flower scene and, “they had some specific flowers in mind.”
Using the guidance they gave him, Henik created a rough draft for approval, before transforming the large stump into a floral masterpiece.
Since its creation, Henik’s flower scene stump has received a lot of positive attention. Many Wilton residents and those passing it on the highway have remarked on its high quality and expressed interest in learning about who did it. Henik himself feels, “really good,” about it.
Henik looks forward to continuing to work with Muscatine County residents to make individualized chainsaw art. If you would like to contact him, you may visit Carverway’s website, or call him at 319-551-2961.