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Cherie Currie: From Runaway to Chainsaw Chick

Cherie Currie
Photo courtesy of Cherie Currie

Cherie Currie first stepped into the spotlight in the mid-1970s as a member of the groundbreaking all-female rock band, The Runaways. Cherie was the lead singer for the band, which included Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Sandy West and Jackie Fox. She recorded three albums with The Runaways and two solo albums. Cherie is also an actress, appearing in films such as "Foxes" with Jodie Foster, "Parasite" with Demi Moore, "Wavelength" with Robert Carradine, among others. Cherie continues to act, record and perform, and also produces records. However, several years ago, Cherie developed a new and more unusual passion. Chainsaw carving! Yes, chainsaw carving. This self-proclaimed "Chainsaw Chick" now spends her time creating intricate, beautiful, and sometimes very large artworks from wood. She has her own chainsaw art gallery in Chatsworth, California and has competed and won awards at chainsaw art competitions around the world. She has also made a number of television appearances displaying her chainsaw carving skills. Cherie is one of only about six professional female chainsaw carvers in America.


Cherie Currie
Photo courtesy of Cherie Currie

I just had to know more about Cherie and her chainsaw carving, so I contacted her and asked if she would answer a few questions for me.

Lorrie: How did you get started in chainsaw carving?

Cherie: It was a natural progression really. I started as a sketch artist, went to painting and one day I was looking at a steer skull I'd painted on a table top and I just wanted to carve it out.. what you would call 'relief' carving. Since the table was oak I decided to buy a pine table top. I sketched a desert scene and carved it out with a dremal, stained and painted it. I thought it was fantastic! I continued doing different designs but found they were so time consuming. Then one day I was traveling to Malibu and came across a couple of guys chainsaw carving on the side of the road. I went into their gallery and saw these wonderful mermaids, tiki's, bears and thought 'I can do this'. I showed my tables to Rio, the man that owned the gallery and asked if he would take me on. He said yes! I started right away but realized that you really can't teach someone how to chainsaw carve. He taught me how to not kill myself with the saw but if I couldn't see the 'piece' I was carving in the wood, I couldn't do it.
I was lucky. It came fairly easy.

Lorrie: Does chainsaw carving require any special training?

Cherie: Just a creative mind and a fearless heart. Protective gear is the most important. Make sure you use the right tools properly and never take risks. Chainsaws are powerful and dangerous tools. You need to be prepared at all times for something to go wrong. Grinders are even more dangerous. Even the most skilled can get hurt. Take your time, be careful and never carve alone if you can help it.

Lorrie: Do you think that being a well-known singer and musician has any impact on your career as an artist?

Cherie: Not yet! Most people don't recognize me or even know I had a career in show business. I make art they like and that has mattered the most to me.


Cherie will be carving at the International Plowing Match Outdoor Exhibition in Ontario, Canada September 15 - 20th 2008, an event which attracts more than 140,000 people a year. She will be representing 'ECHO Power Equipment' which endorses her.

Cherie Currie with her 8 ft Lady carving
Photo courtesy of Cherie Currie

For more information about Cherie and to view more of her work, visit her websites:



For more information about the International Plowing Match visit www.ipm2008.ca.


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2008-06-10 04:14:25 GMT

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