Lori Carnochan meets the Dumfriesshire chainsaw carver crowned Canadian TV champion
A chainsaw carver from Dumfriesshire has been crowned champion of a Canadian TV show, bringing home the top prize of $50,000.
Sam Bowsher began carving full-time three years ago after being made redundant from his welding apprenticeship at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
He began by carving small animals and selling them to locals, but his business has now grown so much he has a six-month waiting list for commissions.
Sam said: "Being made redundant was honestly the best thing that ever happened to me.
"I was worried about where my next pay cheque was coming from, but it meant I could focus on my carving and it’s just taken off from there."
Sam is following in the footsteps of his father, Peter, who was a multiple champion carver. The father and son duo both competed in this year’s 'Carve Carrbridge' competition, which is considered one of the toughest events in the calendar.
Peter is a previous winner of the event, but this year it was Sam’s time to shine.
"It was such an honour to finally win this prestigious competition," he said.
"Of course, I was waiting on a handshake and congratulations from my dad, but he told me to come back once I’d won it eight times like him!"
Following success at multiple competitions across the UK, and showcasing at events in Canada, Sam was invited to take part in a Canadian TV show.
The basis of the show was a carving competition, with judges choosing a carver to be eliminated each week.
Sam went on to win the competition, which included a cash prize of $50,000. He says it’s opened up new opportunities for him overseas.
"I couldn’t believe it when they called out my name. It was one of those surreal moments.
"The exposure on the TV show has been great at getting my work out there and I can’t wait to return to Canada and America for some more work in the future."
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