Peter Bretz – American Chestnut Carving

folk art blackbird

Peter’s character is of a quiet nature but he speaks volumes through his carvings. He is self taught and is truly blessed with this talent. His style is Americana and his creations are all about nature. What really makes him a “maverick” of carvers is his choice of wood. Peter carves American chestnut also known as “wormy chestnut” a very rare wood due to its demise from a chestnut blight in the early 1900’s. The wood grain is awesome and there are always a few worm holes visible in each carving.

red winged blackbird patriotic pair

The American chestnut tree once dominated the forests of eastern United States. These weren’t ordinary trees, they were towering species known as the “kings of the forest” and the wood was so plentiful. Tragically billions of trees were decimated from the blight and never recovered.

key to my heart mice_on_bread_2015_1_gTxDqMajUnXZd

The American chestnut wood that Peter uses in all of his carvings comes from old farmhouses and barns that were built prior to the turn of the century that are now in disrepair and are being torn down. The wood is getting scarce but the hunt is worth it. With each carving Peter tries to preserve the legacy of this great tree, the American chestnut.

4th of july blast home sweet home


Unfortunately, the trees suffered from blight in the early 1900’s and never recovered. Billions of trees were affected and were completely desimated by this blight. All that is left today for Peter’s wood carvings are remnants.

go to Peter Bretz site

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  1. Your Chestnut Carvings are beautiful. Are they available to buy directly from you? And what are the price ranges. I love the mice carvings. I’m a mouse collector.

    Thank you,
    Nancy Miller

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