Jul 02

Woodcarving – Q&A with R.L. Blair

Woodcarving is an art form I have been close to my entire life. My dad  has been creating art out of wood (as well as other mediums) for over 40 years. He is great at what he does, and what he does has been redefined by him.

Travis Blair: You create art out of wood for a living. So, many would call you an artist. I’ve also heard the title, “master chainsaw sculptor” used in your field. What do you consider yourself?

RL Blair: None of the above. I’m a woodcarver that uses a chainsaw, and various other tools. I need the speed these tools give me.

Travis: What is it about wood as a medium that interests you?

RL: It’s irregular. Only humans would take a round tree, and cut it into square dimensions. When I carve something I only have one shot to get my desired effect. I enjoy the mental challenge.

Travis: Is there anything you won’t carve?

RL: Yes, anything that’s not fun. I also don’t like carving someone else’s idea.

Travis: What is one of the most important tools for a successful woodcarver?

RL: Imagination.

Travis: As your kid, I have always been proud to say that my dad is the greatest woodcarver in the world. Do you believe your legacy will be your art?

RL: Hopefully. I like my work to have a positive effect on people, whether they know me or not. My personal recognition is irrelevant. If it makes them happy or alters their life in some minor way. That’s how you leave a legacy.

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My dad resides in Manchaca, TX – just south of Austin. For those interested in learning more about his work, click rlblair.com

Image credit: RL Blair