We Talk Wood Carving with Jamie Jones

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Fans may recognize Jamie Jones from his previous brief appearances on “A Chef’s Life.” He built the henhouse for the family’s flock of chickens and competed in the potato salad contest in the “One Potato, Two Potato” episode in the third season.

What fans don’t know is that Jones has been a longtime fixture in Vivian’s life. They went to middle school together and Vivian says, “Jamie was the hottest guy in the whole school. He was something.” Jones and his wife, Rebecca, were in Manhattan when Ben and Vivian were living there; and both couples ended up back in North Carolina at the same time. So when Ben and Vivian opened Chef & the Farmer, they asked Jones to be a bartender. (It’s worth noting that Jones had never tended bar before but Ben trained him and Jones’ people skills were invaluable.)  

That’s how Jones came to create the original wood sign outside Chef & the Farmer, and the sign’s replacement unveiled in this season’s first episode. Woodcarving has fascinated Jones since he saw men take chainsaws to logs at the N.C. State Fair when he was about 12-years-old. So when a tree fell in his family’s front yard and his mother balked at spending $600 to have the stump removed, Jones borrowed his father’s chainsaw to turn that stump into a tiki god carving.

His father, who had been golfing at the time, was not pleased and forbade his teenage son from touching the chainsaw again. His mother was so pleased that she bought him his own chainsaw. Soon neighbors were asking him to do the same with fallen trees in their yards.

"Jamie’s woodwork is at once raw and refined,” Vivian said. “I think that’s probably hard to do.”

Jones, who now lives in Durham, still takes a chainsaw to wood, selling his own wood carvings and doing commissions. If you are interested in a Jamie Jones’ original wood carving, send a note to: jamiejonesemail@gmail.com.


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