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  • Question about carving competitions

    I'm going to Raleigh , NC to a small carving show at Klingspor's woodworking store, My question is :they allow you to enter 3 carvings per category.If you have 3 carvings that are somewhat equal would it be better to just enter the one you think is best or all 3. I'm hoping to win best of intermediate (hoping is the key word) but in yall's opinion if the judges see 3 carvings that are about the same in quality, would it take something away from the carvings ? They will know that they're all carved by the same person even though you have to cover up the names.
    You can only win first with one , so what would everybody do?
    I know alot of you have been entering contests for a long time.This will be my third counting the same show last year.There's only 2 shows a year that are close enough for me to afford to go to.
    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Question about carving competitions

    I will be judging at a show in Catonsville Md the end of this month. I have judged this show for about 5 years now and I can tell certain carvers from year to year. I judge a piece for what it is and what catagory its in. Doesn't matter who carved it. Some times a carving will cross catagories. I am a Santa carver and have entered pieces in a Cristmas Catagory, Human figure, and Caricture at the same show and taken ribbons in all three catagories. Small shows are a crap shoot. I have seen really good carvings lose to good ol local boys. The main thing is enjoy carving as the first thing and compitition be the second. I have seen some good carvers stop carving because of compititions. I got so stressed out because of compitions once that I quit carving. After about a year I realized I enjoy carving it was the compition that I didn't like. I still enter some shows just to support the shows. A shows not a show if there are no carvers!
    Ya know What, Go to that compititon, enter all three pieces
    If you don't fall were you want to be ask the judge to critque your piece. I get more Irate carvers that honestly lost than I do people trying to improve thier carvings.
    Have Fun & Good Luck
    Goody

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    • #3
      Re: Question about carving competitions

      I guess this is not a hot topic.Anyway thanks for answering.
      I don't take where my carvings place to heart first or last ,I know that judges have their own like and dislikes as to what they want to see in a carving.There's no way to take that out of it.It's not like your scoring points in a game or anything.
      I mainly go to competitions to see other people's work up close (not just pics)and to meet other carvers and discuss techniques and to see how my carvings compare to other people's. If you never see anybody else's carvings you don't know if you're doing good or what you need to improve on.
      I know I wouldn't want to judge alot of good carvings and pick what I thought was best.If it was an obvious pick that's one thing , but when their all good that would be tough.
      and like you I love to carve. I find myself not wanting to finish a carving because I know it will sit on a shelf and hardly be looked at anymore.So when I do finish one I start another one within a day or two.
      Thanks for the advice

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Question about carving competitions

        I agree....enter as many pieces as you can. Strength in numbers applies to the number of carvings on the table. A higher number gives you a higher percentage of winning.

        Another thing you should consider is whether your carving will stand out from the others. When I enter a competition I make sure I put my best efforts forward. However, in doing that I also apply what I consider the most important rule in competition....."You can't ignore the Elephant in the room!" You have to make sure that when the Judge casts his eye over the carvings the one that sticks out the most is yours!

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        • #5
          Re: Question about carving competitions

          Well , I just got back from the show. I took all three carvings, I got 1,2,3 in that category(realistic) and I got 1,2 in caricatures, I got 2nd and 3rd best of show in intermediate. I was robbed of first by a carved bowl?????? It wasn't anything special ,just a small bowl????????? anyway I didn't complain even though everybody I talked to couldn't figure it out either, but I really wanted the set of stubai carving tools for winning first.It goes back to what decoycarve said " Small shows are a crap shoot. I have seen really good carvings lose to good ol local boys."
          You were right!
          Other than that I was very happy with my outcome.
          And I know I have alot of work to do before I go to open division.
          Thanks y'all

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          • #6
            Re: Question about carving competitions

            Just wondering , What do ya'll think? The first place bowl and my second place indian.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Question about carving competitions

              That's one handsome NA bust you have there JB.
              You asked so here's my take on the judging.

              Without knowing what the judges used as criteria, my bet would be that although your carving is definitely well executed and presented in a very pleasing way, it is a carving very much like hundreds of other NA busts.

              That bowl, although seemingly quite simple, shows a very pleasing design function and is quite unique. The lines on the bowl are symetrical, show a flowing element and work together to confine the space within the bowl.

              I would't take away any bad feelings on your place in this competition. The two pieces are from two very different genres and it must have been a difficult decision for the judges.

              Sure hope I didn't insult your sensibilities. That carving of your's is way past what I would be capable of and is inspirational in and of itself.

              Al

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              • #8
                Re: Question about carving competitions

                Originally posted by AlArchie
                That's one handsome NA bust you have there JB.
                You asked so here's my take on the judging.

                Without knowing what the judges used as criteria, my bet would be that although your carving is definitely well executed and presented in a very pleasing way, it is a carving very much like hundreds of other NA busts.

                That bowl, although seemingly quite simple, shows a very pleasing design function and is quite unique. The lines on the bowl are symetrical, show a flowing element and work together to confine the space within the bowl.

                I would't take away any bad feelings on your place in this competition. The two pieces are from two very different genres and it must have been a difficult decision for the judges.

                Sure hope I didn't insult your sensibilities. That carving of your's is way past what I would be capable of and is inspirational in and of itself.

                Al
                +1, same logic. We have lots of Indian carvings down here and very few bowls.

                Joggenrot

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                • #9
                  Re: Question about carving competitions

                  I don't have any bad feelings ,I just think that it's alot harder to make something that looks like something real , than just something with flowing lines. I see so called new age art at an art gallery in my town that is nothing but some scrap metal welded and polished ,and it's called art.But in my opinion studying facial features and getting the symetry right on a face is ten times harder.With a bowl you could just start carving without any idea of what your looking for except that it will be a bowl with some curving lines.
                  I also heard the guy talking and he said it started out as a duck and messed it up and made it a bowl.
                  But I didn't complain to the judges,but I guess I'm complaining here .I shouldn't.
                  I just look at a carving by not only how good it is carved but how hard it was to carve.
                  I'm amazed by bird carvers in all that they go through to get those small subtle details and then the realistic painting.I watched vic kirkman burn and start painting a duck today and was amazed at all the minute details he put in it.
                  Thanks for your input!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Question about carving competitions

                    In California I have seen sanded driftwood win first place. I have seen freeform carvings that have been sanded to 400 grit win first place. I have often wondered why. It has to be the eye of the judge. We should carve because we enjoy carving. The competition is something people can do or not do. I'm not good enough to enter anything, but I'll go to any show/sale.

                    By the way, I'm on your side! I'd complain too.

                    Joggernot

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                    • #11
                      Re: Question about carving competitions

                      Yes I agree , I love the carving part and won't stop because of some peoples opinion of my work .I have seen carvings in books that poeple have written and wondered why they were writing a book when I thought their carving were not good at all.But like you said , it's all in the eye's of the judges.Something I like may be firewood in other people's eyes.
                      Anyway , I carve the things I carve for myself how I think It looks best ,or try to make it that way anyway , not by what the popular look is in competitions and magazines.I would never pay hundreds of dollars for a carving, but if somebody wants to pay that for mine, fine by me!
                      But Like I said I just carve them for myself , and I only sell my old work after I get tired of looking at it, or I've progressed enough that I see that the older carving are not near what I'm capable of now.I can always carve another better(I hope)
                      Thanks alot

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                      • #12
                        Re: Question about carving competitions

                        One of the drawbacks of being successful is that you can become too successful! Quite possibly the Judge thought that if he continued to give you too many Blues the others in the show would think he was being preferential. Happens all the time. ALso, I'll have to agree with the comments about your Indian bust being a common subject while the bowl is somewhat unique. In a way it was that "elephant in the room" by being different that the other carvings which were what one would normally expect.

                        Overall I'd say you did pretty good.

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