Aya Blaine grew up surrounded by art. Her childhood in Osaka, Japan was spent learning a range of artistic skills. She’d regularly stay up late at night drawing, and focused her high school studies on general design and art. But it wasn’t until adulthood that she’d find her medium of choice in chainsaw carving.
"I remember the first carving I ever did was of an owl. I looked at it and thought it was so good. Then I came back and looked at it a couple days later and said, ‘I think I can do better.’ So I kept carving different pieces, getting better every time."
Blaine continued to improve, and now operates her own chainsaw carving studio with her husband, who’s also a carver. One of her favorite pastimes is competing in carving shows. Displaying her work and participating in these events is essential to her development as an artist, she says.
Another essential is her STIHL chainsaw, the tool she trusts to carve intricate eagles, lions, bears and more.
"I use all STIHL chainsaws, because they are easy to use and easy to start. I carve almost anything the customer wants. It’s pretty challenging, but I like the process."
Much of her work involves carving custom orders, particularly of clients’ pets, which is one of Blaine’s specialties. She frequently uses just a photograph as a model, and enjoys the challenge of translating the 2D image into a 3D sculpture.
"The moment I like is when the customer comes to pick up their carvings. Sometimes they laugh and sometimes they cry from the carving, because that’s like their pet, their family, coming back to them."
*DO NOT start or operate damaged equipment. If your STIHL equipment has been compromised in any way, take it to your local STIHL Dealer for immediate