By M.K. Bryant
Tinglewood Festival this year was held on Sept. 10 in Orr Park.
This annual celebration is named after Tim Tingle, the artist behind the tree carvings that characterize Orr Park.
This year, Tinglewood Festival included art vendors, a bird show, a car show, food vendors, live music, a petting zoo, a snake show and more.
One of the main events of the festival was a chainsaw exhibition. During this, artists created unique wooden sculptures carved by chainsaws. Later in the day, an auction for these works was held.
Heather Bailey was one of the artists participating in the chainsaw exhibition. She and her husband, Justin Bailey, who is also a chainsaw carver, have been participating in Tinglewood Festival since it first began. Bailey’s mother was one of the first female chainsaw carvers, and Bailey herself has been carving since she was 20.
When asked about the importance of events like this that highlight woodworking, Bailey responded, “They’re huge. A lot of people don’t know about what we do, and so we just kind of share it with the world and that’s kind of one of the best ways to do it. You can see it on TV, but until you come and smell the wood and just see everyone in action you don’t really understand what’s going on.”
Ron Herbster, who runs a business called Woodturning by Herbster, was another artist at Tinglewood. He described woodturning as taking “chunks of wood and spinning it at high speeds on a lathe.” He said that, through this process, a square piece of wood can turn round. His booth at Tinglewood this year was the first show that he has ever done of his work.
Herbster said, “It’s good to see what other people are doing. It helps promote the craft, the art, whatever you want to call it, so that you see what other people’s ideas are.”
Emmett Christolear is another wood turner who also makes pens. This was his first time showcasing his work at Tinglewood. He discussed the importance of “community and being able to connect with people” when it comes to local art and crafting events.
Other artists running booths at Tinglewood were Turner B. Porter and his son Will, who run an Etsy shop called woodenpotterydesigns, La-Ren’s Farm Wood Turning, Nanny’s Nonsense Organic Art, and more. Even Tingle, the festival’s namesake, had a booth, where visitors could buy his golf ball carvings as well as miniature versions of select Orr Park tree carvings.
Tinglewood Festival celebrates the culture and community surrounding the art of woodworking, and it gives artists the opportunity to explore work outside of their own.
M.K. Bryant is a contributing journalist for The Alabamian. She’s majoring in mass communication with a concentration in multimedia journalism, and she’s double-minoring in theatre and creative writing. When she’s not busy watering her plants or writing, M.K. can probably be found wandering around an art museum or a library.