Ben Semler is a well experienced and talented wood carver. After watching his dad carve beautiful sculptures as a hobby, Ben decided to try it out a few months later. The two eventually kept with it and started selling their hand carved products full time. His dad has played a huge role in his inspiration to start carving wood sculptures.
When Ben started carving, he made many different things. The first major project he ever attempted was a bear; which ended up looking like a pig. After hours of trial and error, he finally carved a bear to his liking.
Ben likes to get to work by 8:00 AM and sets up his work space in the parking lot of his stores. Having six successful stores, a day off is not an option for Ben! He carves everything by himself in parking lots so people can watch him work. He enjoys them coming up to him inquiring about his work as well as seeing the fascinated expressions on their faces. If it rains, Ben still works outside. He has invested in an easy-up tent for the cold and rainy Minnesota days.
After an order is complete, Ben’s mother will custom paint it, if requested. She works alongside him while his father works at a separate shop.
The most popular piece of art that Ben carves are 3 foot bears. He can get one done in two to three hours! Bears and sitting eagles are about 85% of his work. The most requested bear sculptures are ones that have a “Welcome” sign or “Go Away” sign carved on them. Ben enjoys carving eagles. Once the eyes are carved out, the expressions of them come to life. He exclaimed to us that he can, “Turn a log into things that look pretty cool.”
When driving past Ben’s store in Brainerd one day, we noticed an eagle with babies and got very interested in his work. We wanted a cool piece that represented Pine Peaks’. Ben met us at the resort and we now have his work on display for all to see.
Ben’s relationship with Pine Peaks has helped is wood carving profession a great amount. At weddings, the guests love his work! We refer Ben to any guest that is interested in his amazing carvings. He has sold stuff out of state and is looking forward to what his future holds.
We, at Pine Peaks, want to thank Ben for the beautiful carvings he has created for us and look forward to having him as a preferred vendor.
– Dave and Julie Peterson