Mr. Randy Boni - Artistry Since 1989
Boni, a renowned artist is commissioned by commercial, public, and private
property owners around the country to sculpt dying or damaged trees into
highly recognized landmarks. Using primarily a chainsaw, Boni is
recognized as one of the highest regarded chainsaw artist in the world.
Boni has always depended on wood for his livelihood and has a deep respect
for trees, touching conservation, proper forest management, and
safeguarding nature, not destroying it. "If a tree is dying or has to be
taken down, I feel I'm preserving some beauty and more importantly the
remembrance of the tree with my carvings," he stated.
Boni, a Pennsylvania native resides in the Allegheny National Forest where
the wildlife such as deer, bear, elk, lend Boni realistic references for
his wildlife nature reflections in his very unique landmarks. Boni said
carving involves three basic stages: block out, meaning the cutting away
of the large chunks of wood to get the general shape of the subject,
boasting, means to define the muscles and fine features of the subject,
and he notes, "boasting takes years of study," and lastly, detail means to
add the fine delicate attributes of the subject such as fins, fur, and
Boni denies attributing his three dimensional and skills of proportion to
his blindness endured for over 30 years of his young life. "My twin
brother and I were born with a hereditary condition known as cataracts. We
just could not see well enough to play ball, read, drive a car, or fit in
with other kids all that easily." Boni states that he would often do
things by himself including drawing, carving soap, sculpting clay, and
using his hand to 'see' dimensional form. Eye surgery on both eyes allowed
Randy to see the world for the first time when he was in his mid 30's.
"The very first thing I did after my surgery was run out to East Branch
Dam. I wanted to see the cable stretched across the water. Before everyone
used to say to me, 'you mean you can't see that cable?' After my surgery,
I could see it, along with the shakes on a house instead of a blur, the
veins in a leaf, instead of a pallet of green. I am a fortunate man,"
Boni has always worked with his hands and wood. After high school he took
position with Weyerhaeuser Company, making doors and sliced veneer.
Working with the company 10 years until the plant closed. He then went
into carpentry, contracting and construction, building homes, garages,
decks, siding and roofing. In 1989 he created a totem pole for a young
student to fulfill a school project. "I was hooked. I converted my
workshop into a carving studio and all these years later, I am still very
happy," said Boni.
Boni sometimes can be found in some of the country's largest fairs and
festivals. As a paid performer, his shows pull in the spectators. People
of all ages will watch Boni transform a 4 foot log into a high bid
sculpture. "Children as well as the young of heart will watch me for
hours, it's still amazing to me." Boni said. Boni performs 4 shows per
day, each show 45 - 60 minutes long, and completing a sculpture from start
to finish each and ever show. "The shows are very demanding.
I hope for the day that I may slow down in my life to create what I think
of as 'timeless-priceless' art".
The artist is happy within his creative lifestyle. Although humble in his
posture, he welcomes visitors and admirers when he carves. Boni sees
carving as a, visual dialogue. "A sculpture speaks to people in different
ways. When I see people look at a carving and then they smile, that's my
unspoken, thanks" that I receive."
If you would like to see some of Bonis' landmarks, you can't miss them.
They are sprinkled all over the country offering lasting impressions to
viewers. If traveling is not possible visit web site: abundance-acres.com,
to view his peaceful creations nestled into their tranquil settings. "I
love what I do, I leave something behind when I'm gone, I leave my mark -
if you will," said Boni, as he unknowingly carves his legacy one landmark
at a time.
The work of Randi Boni may be seen at Rempel's Grove, where it is engraved into the landscape at Adventure Golf.