Chester Cornett has made chairs for presidents. His work is displayed in museums across the country. In Hand Carved, Chester fells a tree on the site of his family’s homeplace near the top of Pine Mountain in Eastern Kentucky and transports it back to his small apartment/workshop in inner-city Cincinnati. Cornett tells the story of his apprenticeship with his grandfather and uncle, and the personal and economic reasons he left the mountains. Intricate camerawork illustrates the process Cornett uses to chop, whittle, and carve the wood into an exquisite, eight-legged, “two-in-one” rocker designed for the film. As when Chester explains to the viewer that "I've traded a chair many-a-time for groceries," Hand Carved reveals the precarious life of an artist struggling to survive in a society accustomed to mass production.
Screenings & Festivals
The Learning Channel
Columbus International Film Festival
Dayton Art Institute
San Francisco International Film Festival