My name is Ben Loughrill. I started chainsaw carving in 2000, I went to Cornwall and met my now friend Jennine who lived and worked making wooden mushrooms on the side of the road, she was kind enough to teach me for 6 months and pass on the necessary skills to go further. Other than being taught how to make a mushroom, I have taught myself the rest, by trial and error (less error now) I have made sculptures ranging from small animals through to people,I have since won an award for making a pair of boxing hares at one of England’s premier chainsaw carving competitions which hosts some of the best chainsaw carvers in the world.
Growing up in the East Anglian country side I was more often than not outside, I always have had a close connection with nature and woodlands. Seeing wildlife often up close, I had the chance to appreciate everything so much more, when I found out that it was possible to make sculptures with a chainsaw I used my experiences and knowledge from when I was younger and used them in the sculptures I make today.
I now live in north Suffolk 14 miles from the coast, I live in a very rural location on a farm which is also where I work from, having the space to store wood, sculptures and the use of machinery to move the often heavy pieces, the wood is various shapes and sizes all awaiting its time to come back to life as a sculpture or a lovely piece of furniture, I have recently invested in a band-saw to give the wood another opportunity to shine.
I have been very fortunate living where I do, as now I have become established in the area I often receive phone calls from farmers, wildlife trusts, councils and home owners. They often ask if I would like to have a tree that has died or that has to be taken down due to disease, or simply getting to big for the garden. I have refused many trees in my carving career more often than not due to people who think trees in there newly purchased home have no right to be there, or because of the leaves that drop in the autumn cause them a nuisance my answer is usually that the tree was probably there before there home, and it should not be taken down.
I never saw myself as being an artist, however I feel the work that I create has not only become a new art form, it is a way of bringing a once redundant piece of wood, only destine for logs into art that people can appreciate and admire. I feel very lucky to have met Jennine, my future changed that day, 12 years on I am still carving and have the direction I always longed for. I love my career in chainsaw carving, no two days are the same as I am always making a variety of commissions on a regular basis and I have the life style that I enjoy.