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  • Judging Shows

    Have any of you ever acted in as a judge at a carving show? And if so, what did you look for in the carvings? What was the most important element you looked for in a carving?

  • #2
    Re: Judging Shows

    Guess I should add that I don't enter my carvings in shows, I'm just curious. I've seen carvings that I thought were wonderful and they didn't even get an honorable mention? Guess that's one reason I'll never be asked to be a judge

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    • #3
      Re: Judging Shows

      I judged an art competition that had woodcarvings in it and some food competitions that was fun but the art competition was not fun to judge. I don’t believe judging a woodcarving competition would be very much fun but someone has to do it. I think as long as there are categories for example I wouldn’t want one of my 6’ 300 pound hardwood carvings judged the same as a caricature carving. I also like to have the people’s choice and auction price factored in. I think about it this way in an open auction the winner is the artist that demands the highest price, no matter what the judges have to say.

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      • #4
        Re: Judging Shows

        good question there has to be a criteria other than I liked the little blue one. I have seen some bests that had me wonder but then again Im not a very good carver so I shouldn't criticize.

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        • #5
          Re: Judging Shows

          Judging is hard and a thankless job. At one show I had a guy start shoving me because he took second instead of first. He lost because he had carved his piece from a roughout. Not an original design and basically no changes from the original. The winning carving was from a minds concept to a well executed piece. This was also an advanced category. It was protested and said it was not from a roughout and the other three judges were ready to cave in and give him first place. Before I judge a show I search all the roughout sources so I went to the truck got my laptop and brought up the carving on a website. Some times when you have two almost perfect carvings and theres only ribbon and winnings is to switch gears and stop looking how the good the carving is but to find something wrong with one of them. I took second at the world competition in Md in the ruddy duck category. One of my trademarks was to curve the back of the bill up ever so slightly Kinda gave my birds a smile. Judge picked up on it and it knocked me back to second.
          Every carver should compete for a while. It will humble you as well as make you strive for perfection. When you find yourself carving to win instead of carving because you like to carve its time to stop entering competitions . I still enter a few carvings now and then to support the carving show. If there are no carvings there is no show. I don't care about winning anymore I have a shoe boxes full of ribbons that say I know how to carve. I find my self putting my worst work in shows nowadays so that an up and coming carver has a better chance.
          Another thread on the subject.

          http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.co...hlight=judging

          Kinda longwinded answer but hope it sheds some light on judging shows.
          Goody

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          • #6
            Re: Judging Shows

            Goody is right..... competitions are full of nice folks but also have their share of A-holes.....and they will get in your face if you don't place them where they thought they should be.

            I judged along side Frank Russell a couple of times at the Florida State Fair. Frank invited me to be part of a 3 person panel. It was a learning experience for me. I enjoyed it but have no desire to ever do it again. It's not hard to weed out the stuff that doesn't have a chance but then you have to look hard at the good things and sort them out. In realistic carvings, do you allow for a degree of artistic license? I can see where exhibiting under a different judge will get a different result because in the end, the interpretation of that particular judge, is the only thing that will matter. In most competitions, the judges decision is final.

            With realistic animal, bird and fish carvings, correctness of the subject, or lack there of, does a lot of the work for you. Frank knew how many pinfeathers should be on this bird, how many tail feathers for that type of duck, the exact way a blue gill or a bass, etc...should look. Then the degree of movement that the artist got worked into their fish. So much stuff that the average person (like me) wouldn't have a clue of. Then the overall execution of the piece, the finish work, etc.

            If the carving is not a realistic rendering of the subject, then it's all about artistic composition, quality of the finish work and movement of the piece, where applicable...

            Do what you love to do and you will always do a better job than if you are forcing yourself to do something you don't have your heart into....

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            • #7
              Re: Judging Shows

              I would think some place there should be a standard or some kind of articulated judging criteria. It certainly cant rest on the likes and dislikes of a individual judge.

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              • #8
                Re: Judging Shows

                Certainly personal preference might sneak in there and play a small part of the decision. But for the most part, judges try to be impartial in that regard. The interpretation of any piece's qualities will vary from person to person though. And in the case of the State Fair and other venues, it's not just one judge, but a panel of judges. That helps keep things on track too.

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                • #9
                  Re: Judging Shows

                  ok Susie makes sense but what is the criteria? originality? preciseness of cuts? clean cuts? and painting brings a whole host of other things, so a judge should be able to explain why carving a is better than carving b. otherwise it is purely speculative. In any endeavor there has to be a viable list that one can be judged by or one can shoot for. otherwise, whats the sense? I made judge jones happy today and judge smith didn't like it doesn't cut it. imo.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Judging Shows

                    Well, everything is divided into categories and certainly clean cuts are more important in things like chip carving. But clean cuts would also be part of the "over all finish work". And clean cuts imply pieces carved with blades when much of the work is power carving.
                    It's been years and I'm not sure but I don't think there was a category for each of those. They competed in the same categories....well, except for chip carving, of course.

                    There was a religious category, relief carvings, the realistic birds, fish, etc.... carving in the round...I'm trying to remember what else but it's been quite a while. But there is certain criteria for some of the categories that may not apply to the others. Clean cuts would be a major factor in the execution of a chip carving.

                    Things like the over all quality of the design, finish work, artistic composition, covers a lot of ground.....it sounds simplistic but it's not. And excellent work stands out. The toughest part is when you have equally wonderful pieces and have to make a choice between them.

                    Keep in mind that I did this all of 2 times. And it was a learning experience. One year, it came down to 2 pieces in consideration for best in show. One piece was a beautiful carving of a woman in a bit of a dance pose. It was a very large carving and she was wearing a long gown. She was well done and very graceful and had won her category. The other piece was also quite large. It was a panther in a face-off with a wild boar. The pure attitude of these two animals was captured perfectly, you could almost hear them snarling at each other.

                    I was way more impressed with the big cat/wild boar piece but one of the other judges was leaning hard toward the beautiful woman. This is probably why there are 3 judges. We all discussed the 2 pieces at great length and then I was out voted. LOL.

                    Year before last, one of our club members who does some work with setting up the State Fair competition, mentioned to me that my name had been brought up and I might be asked to be one of the judges again. I told her I was flattered but didn't want to do it and didn't hear anymore about it. When I was part of the panel, those 2 years, it was fun. But I realized how much you really need to know and how much experience plays into it....

                    We had a veteran judge who was the lead on both panels and he was teaching me as we went. I would never presume to think I could do that on my own, without a much more experienced person being in the lead.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Judging Shows

                      well the committee approach certainly helps but it seesm quite wide open if you gewt my drift

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