Photographs of Chris DeStefano creating in his studio, which can be found in Elk County.
“I’m just a dirty ol’ boy.”
That’s the way Chris "Snuffy" DeStefano envisions himself — part-rolling stone, part-country boy, but mostly artist.
He’s been chainsaw carving for 10 years, an art form that took hold when he started playing music with a group of carvers. A woman from Indiana, Pa. showed him how to wield a chainsaw, and it stuck.
“I like the speed of it. You can take the raw material and turn it into something amazing in a couple of hours,” Snuffy said.
He started with traditional carvings but has since found his niche in taking burls, or deformed tree growths, and transforming them into unique and beautiful bowls and furniture.
“The burls I work with, it’s like Christmas every time you open it up, because you don’t know what’s going to be inside,” Snuffy said.
He has also become known as one of the premier “Bigfoot” chainsaw carvers, traveling the East Coast from Georgia to Maine, carving the elusive creature.
“It’s just such a funny thing, at a 30-year class reunion, telling people I carve Bigfoots for a living,” Snuffy said. When asked if he is a believer, he adds, “I can’t say I do. I can’t say I don’t.”
These images were captured by Katie Weidenboerner Deppen as part of the 2017 Creative Makers Exhibit, a traveling showcase of creative makers working in the PA Wilds.
More about the show here. Proceeds from the sales of the Creative Makers Exhibit photographic tiles & posters will go back into the work of the Wilds Cooperative and the extension of this project as we will continue photographing the creative makers living and working in the PA Wilds.
Each tile measures 8 in x 8 in and is mounted on foam core that is approximately 3/4 in thick and comes with adhesive attached for wall mounting.
Please note: Orders for photographic tiles are placed in a batch at the end of each month with the vendor, and then take an additional 2 weeks for delivery. Please be prepared that your order could take 4-6 weeks for delivery.
Over 10 years ago, a groundbreaking effort began to brand a quarter of the Commonwealth as the "Pennsylvania Wilds" and invest in it to create a premier nature, heritage and cultural destination that would fuel local economies and inspire stewardship among the people who live, work, play and visit the region. Engaging the region's artists and craftspeople in the work is key to building a meaningful regional brand and infusing pride into economically-distressed communities. The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, our membership program that supports artisans and entrepreneurs through such regional branding, was born out of this belief. Today, nearly 200 local artists and craftspeople participate in this juried arts and business development program. "Creative Makers" reflects the splendor and uniqueness of the Pennsylvania Wilds landscape and rural lifestyle, and the resourcefulness and talent of the artists who live and work here. PA Wilds Juried photographers captured the images, and our goal with the exhibit is to help tell the story of the creative individuals living and working in the PA Wilds.
This project is made possible through grants from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts.
The PA Wilds is home to an impressive and diverse community of skilled artisans, craftspeople, and producers working across a variety of media. The PA Wilds Conservation Shop is proud to source and curate our shop using products made the many talented makers of The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania.
Learn more about our sourcing now.
PA Wilds Conservation Shops are owned and operated by the Pennsylvania Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. To learn more about our nonprofit mission please visit pawildscenter.org.