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Chain saw artists carve a life together

Wooden cake, chain saw salute all part of the fun at carvers' wedding

  • Chain saw wood carver Steve Backus, of Pemco commercial fame, walks bride Debbie Anderson down the aisle of chain saws for her wedding Friday night in...

    Purchase Photo Reprint Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Chain saw wood carver Steve Backus, of Pemco commercial fame, walks bride Debbie Anderson down the aisle of chain saws for her wedding Friday night in Arlington.

  • The couple show off their matching chain saw rings.

    Purchase Photo Reprint Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    The couple show off their matching chain saw rings.

  • Debbie Anderson and Dave Tremko carve up their wooden wedding "cake."

    Purchase Photo Reprint Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Debbie Anderson and Dave Tremko carve up their wooden wedding "cake."

  • Debbie Anderson and Dave Tremko fire up their chain saws along with the rest of the carvers lining the aisle at the couple's wedding Friday night in A...

    Purchase Photo Reprint Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Debbie Anderson and Dave Tremko fire up their chain saws along with the rest of the carvers lining the aisle at the couple's wedding Friday night in Arlington. The couple met at a chain saw carving show in Ocean Shores last year.

  • Bride and groom Debbie and Dave Tremko walk back down the chain saw aisle after getting married Friday night in Arlington.

    Purchase Photo Reprint Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Bride and groom Debbie and Dave Tremko walk back down the chain saw aisle after getting married Friday night in Arlington.

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By Amy Daybert
Herald Writer
Published:
  • Chain saw wood carver Steve Backus, of Pemco commercial fame, walks bride Debbie Anderson down the aisle of chain saws for her wedding Friday night in...

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Chain saw wood carver Steve Backus, of Pemco commercial fame, walks bride Debbie Anderson down the aisle of chain saws for her wedding Friday night in Arlington.

  • The couple show off their matching chain saw rings.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    The couple show off their matching chain saw rings.

  • Debbie Anderson and Dave Tremko carve up their wooden wedding "cake."

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Debbie Anderson and Dave Tremko carve up their wooden wedding "cake."

  • Debbie Anderson and Dave Tremko fire up their chain saws along with the rest of the carvers lining the aisle at the couple's wedding Friday night in A...

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Debbie Anderson and Dave Tremko fire up their chain saws along with the rest of the carvers lining the aisle at the couple's wedding Friday night in Arlington. The couple met at a chain saw carving show in Ocean Shores last year.

  • Bride and groom Debbie and Dave Tremko walk back down the chain saw aisle after getting married Friday night in Arlington.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Bride and groom Debbie and Dave Tremko walk back down the chain saw aisle after getting married Friday night in Arlington.

ARLINGTON -- Getting married after one of her chain saw carving shows wasn't Debbie Anderson's original plan.
She saw logic in the idea though about a month ago, after her fiance, Dave Tremko, brought it up. Many of their friends who are also chain saw carving artists would be in the area for the Arlington Country Chainsaw Carvers Show anyway, he said. Why not just get married at Legion Park after the end of the show Friday?
The idea made perfect sense to Anderson, 50.
"It just added to the excitement of the show," she said.
Anderson, who works at Boeing's Everett plant wire shop, started learning how to carve in 2007 as a hobby. She has coordinated five chain saw carving shows over the past year. Tremko, 45, is an Alaskan Aleut native who learned how to carve when he was 14. He gained national attention for his work in 2004 when he appeared on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno and did a carving of the talk show host.
He designed a two-layer cedar wood cake with two bears on it for his wedding day. The cake was covered in white frosting and cut with chain saws by both Tremko and his wife after their wedding ceremony Friday evening at the park. The cutting of their cake spurred a round of wolf calls and applause from the crowd of family and friends.
Among the professional chain saw carvers at the ceremony was Steve Backus, a friend of Tremko's for the past 15 years. Backus, a resident of Clinton and "father" of many past events that he said have brought chain saw carvers together, was honored to be chosen to give Anderson away at the ceremony.
"I thought it was a great honor," he said. "It was really cool to be involved. I predict they're going to do great things together."
The bride and groom each chose to wear tie-dye attire and sunglasses for their day. Anderson walked down a pathway sprinkled with sawdust to a gazebo in the center of the park. One of her arms held on to Backus' arm while the other held onto a chain saw she kept to her side. A group of 30 carvers lined up along the pathway and held their saws straight up in the air in a quiet "chain saw salute" as they walked by.
After the couple exchanged vows and identical gold chain saw rings, the tie-dye clad carvers revved up the chain saws in another much louder salute.
The ceremony went over just as planned, Anderson said.
"I'm very happy," she said. "God blessed our day."
The couple met at a chain saw carving show in Ocean Shores last year. At the time, Anderson was married. They became friends who carved together in a group of artists called The Wolf Pack.
Anderson and Tremko were part of a group of artists who attended a show in Ridgway, Pa., in February. At the time, Anderson shared that she was going through a divorce.
"I proposed to her instantly," Tremko said.
Anderson thought he was kidding around. Tremko went back home to False Pass, Alaska, but they stayed in touch through email. He returned to Arlington in mid-April after Anderson accepted his proposal.
"We started discussing wedding plans and who was going to come and if one chain saw carver was invited than another had to be invited and if two were invited another two had to be invited," Tremko said. "We just invited everybody."
The guest list included some family members and 33 carvers, who might as well be family, the couple agreed.
"We carve together all the time," Anderson said. "We're like one big family."
Members of the Wolf Pack often wear tie-dye to represent the many art cultures and mediums around the world, said Jack McEntire, Tremko's best man. He's a carver from Selah near Yakima who started the group to help spread interest in carvers' artwork and to get the attention of production companies. A television crew filmed the wedding, he said.
"We've been telling production companies for decades that this is pretty interesting," McEntire said. "We're in negotiations with some production companies."
The possibility of being part of a reality television show is exciting for the couple but they have other things to keep them busy.
The Tremkos recently opened Studio Tremko, an art gallery and workshop located north of the Arlington Dwayne Lane dealership. They plan to carve during the Country Chainsaw Carvers show scheduled today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Legion Park, 114 N. Olympic. A live auction is set for 4:30 p.m.
The newlyweds may decide to take a short vacation to Lake Chelan soon, but that won't interfere with their new business or with plans to be part of a show at Cascade Days Aug. 20-21 in Concrete.
"A vacation to us is chain sawing," Tremko said. "We love to chainsaw carve together."



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