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Marlborough Man Making his Mark With a Chainsaw
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2019-10-09

            On a whim, at the suggestion of his father-in-law, Matthew Dietrich used a chainsaw to carve a snow man out of a two-foot block of wood. He completed the job in just 30 minutes, and didn't appear too impressed with his work.

Matthew Dietrich, a Marlborough resident, stands next to 

a Gnome Home - his current project. 

           "It was nothing special, and fairly easy to design," Dietrich said.

            The next night, Dietrich decided to create a bear out of a three-foot block. After five hours of work over two days, he completed the project and discovered that chainsaw carving was more than a hobby.

            "The bear was not the greatest," Dietrich wrote in an email message. "But it was enough to get me hooked."

            Ten months later, the Marlborough Township resident has converted his interest into a business. Through M & F Creations, LLC, Dietrich estimates that he has sold at least 20 sculptures. He usually charges approximately $100 per foot. The Harleysville native is also looking to enter sculpting competitions in New Jersey and western Pennsylvania.

            "I want to see how my work compares," Dietrich said

            The 2005 graduate of Souderton Area High School, who learned to handle a chainsaw clearing trees on his parents' property in Jim Thope, never considered himself an artist. He said art class in school was fun, but that he never excelled at it. Dietrich said his opinion changed last December, when his father in-law suggested that he take up chainsaw carving while they were making Holiday crafts.

            "I took it as challenge," he said.

            Most of Dietrich's sculptures portray bears. His mailbox includes three of the animals, one of which is holding a chainsaw.

            Just beyond his driveway off East Campbell Road, Dietrich gestures towards a fishing bear sculpture, depicting the animal wearing a vest and a holding a fish over his head, measuring approximately six-feet tall. According to Dietrich, he initially intended to portray the bear dragging the fish, but was forced to alter the design after encountering a colony of carpenter ants in a hollow spot in the wood.

            Utilizing a carving bar placed on two chainsaws, he converts logs from a friend's tree service business into ornate art. His carvings include a seven-foot Spartan, a deer jumping over a log, a hand seat measuring five feet tall, a pumpkin tiki, and a six-foot Razorback.

            "The toughest part about this is making the animals look real," said Dietrich, who spends at least 36 hours a week on his sculptures. "I really have to think about how to portray muscle movement."

            Earlier this summer, he received several thousand dollars to sculpt a Big Foot measuring seven feet tall for a client in southwest West Virginia along the Ohio border. The job took three days, according to Dietrich.

            His sculpture of three Jack-o-lanterns – which he completed in one day – will be displayed for sale at Kospia Farms, located at 2288 State Street in Longswamp Township.

            "My inspiration comes from everywhere," he said

            Dietrich needed to two tries to complete the mascot for the University of Arkansas – defined as a thin-bodied, long-legged feral hog chiefly of the southeastern U.S. He decided to burn the first version after three days of work

            "It didn't look right, and I needed to start fresh," Dietrich said. "Within two days, I had it finished and it looked great."

            Dietrich – who works full time for Roy Lomas Carpets & Hardwoods, located in Lower Salford – was hired to complete two gnome-related sculptures on a pair of 10-foot stumps in New Hanover. He is working on a "Gnome Home" in the front yard of a house on Erb Road and recently completed a "Gnome King" on Deep Creek Road.

            "The resident of Deep Creek road who lost the tree was looking for a focal point, and it just hit me," Dietrich said.

For more information on M & F Creations, LLC visit www.facebook.com/matt.dietrich.923 or contact Dietrich at 267-614-0028.


 

 

 

 

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