Carving The Cariboo

Flavour Of The Month | September 09 2013

In keeping with this month’s carving theme, it only seemed fitting that our feature artist of the month be a carver. Ken Sheen is a very well known and talented chainsaw carver. Using his chainsaw, Ken takes logs and pieces of wood and creates out of them the most amazing works of art. Ken lives and has his carving business north of McLeese Lake at Alexandria on Highway 97, where he can be found hard at work. “I’ve been a timber guy all my life” says Ken, “and a carver for the last fourteen.” After thirty years in Chetwynd, where
many of his works of art are displayed, he moved to Riske Creek just outside of Williams Lake before moving to his current location three years ago.
When asked what the difference was between carving and sculpting Ken explains his view is that carving is more of something that is patterned, referenced, computer-generated, or even something that is more mass produced. Sculpting however, he felt was more of a monument and comes from out of the head and heart. The meticulous pieces of art that Ken creates range from small table-top and
wall hangings to very large feature outdoor landscaping pieces. Whether large or small, each piece is uniquely designed and sculpted by this talented artist.
If not in Ken’s shop in person, you will probably recognize his work around Williams Lake as he has done several pieces for the City. Two are located at the intersection of Highway 20 and Highway 97, and a third piece sits above the Stampede grounds by the Mall. This lone cowboy stands in quiet retrospect of days gone by, his face telling a story. Ken works often for Pioneer Log Homes as a freelancer. Some of his work has been taken as far away as Scotland, one such home featuring twelve eagle heads on the ends of beams. Ken also commissions all over Vancouver Island and to the north, sharing his art with both businesses and individuals alike.
Currently he has just finished working on a bench for Clinton and their celebration of 150 years. It is obvious when looking at Ken’s work
that he has a very deep passion for what he does and each piece of work tells a small tale of its creator. Talent, inspiration and raw creativity drive this ‘timber guy’ to build on his passion for wood and develop his business from art to success. As for the future, Ken is going to continue to do what he loves and what inspires him, and that is to continue his passion for chainsaw carving. He also hopes to expand his business and possibly even partner up with another artist to expand his showroom further, and allow him more time to spend
creating. This month’s feature artist, Ken Sheen, is a ‘must meet’, and a great way to turn an afternoon into and art outing adventure.
Find him at or by taking a lazy afternoon drive up to Alexandria and visiting his show room, and maybe even catching him in his, as Christa calls it, breath-taking, death-defying act of carving.

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