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  • New Competition Category?

    I may have brought this subject up before but I think it's important enough to air one more time.

    In just about every woodcarving competition I've attended or participated in the question or problem of a carving done by more than one person comes up. How some justify this is beyond me. How can a carving carved by one person and painted by another fairly compete with one done completely by someone else? I can't think of any other type of competition where such an exception is allowed. I'd say that entry forms on the majority of the various competitions clearly state that the piece entered should be done by the carver vs. carver/painter but not many pay attention that that rule. To maybe solve this problem how about a new category for just this type of work? Maybe we could call it "Committee Carvings" as those participating in the piece's creation would have to get together and agree on just how it should be done.

    Now don't get me wrong....I have nothing against a fellow turning out a nice piece of work and then turning it over to someone else to apply some paint. However, before setting that piece on the competition table maybe the show committee and the carver involved should ponder if this is really fair to the carvers standing in front or behind them who completed the whole job themselves.

  • #2
    Re: New Competition Category?

    Thats why Anna And I don't compete our santas anymore. We have some contraversy with it and with others it was no problem. At the last 2 Baltimore Carving shows we had a seperate catagorie for group projects. (one or more artiesions) and a catagorie for group completed and class completed pieces. Ironicaly paricipation fell off because of too many rules!. We are not having the show this year. The local woodcraft store begged us to put one of my santas in the santa compitition a few years ago as they didn't have enough entries . We did well on the local level but was disqualified because we both worked on it. It only came up because another local carver complained. The Local Woodcraft store was surprized and even was apologetic for asking us to enter. Its hard for anything to have good participation anymore. A lot of good carvings never make it to compitions any more because of politics. In someways its a shame because there is not as many pieces entered in a show and shows don't draw enough public interest if theres nothing to hold thier interest. Anna and I would would welcome a group catagorie but how do you but a Santa or a decoy up aginst a six foot chain saw carving? I have judged at a few show and its very hard. You find a well executed piece and now you have to also judge on all the politics. I have to study tup before a show to know whos selling what roughouts, whos teaching what classes and find out about as many of the seminars that have been held recently. I have had some pretty Irate people in my face and even on one ocasion someone got phiysical over a carving that came from a roughout that I did not recognize. I think the economy and politics have really taken a toll on the shows arround the country.

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    • #3
      Re: New Competition Category?

      You raise an interesting and very valid point....and while I like the idea of a separate judging category??? What will happen at the shows where only one piece that was "carved by committee" (I like that!!) is entered in the CBC category and takes the blue for that category??? Will that take away from the efforts of the "non committee" carvers?? I guess the big question is this...Will it diminish the value/quality of the show/competition in any way????

      The good/bad here is I don't have a horse in this race. I have only ever entered in one show and it was not a carving competition...it was an art show. They judged my carving (which was only 1.5" tall) against sofa size oil paintings, poster photographs, etc..etc...
      I do not carve for competitive reasons, I carve for enjoyment and to lower my blood pressure (yea, right) I give most of my carvings away, just kind of funny that way. Any suggestion I may have will be unbiased but somewhat ignorant, because of my lack of show experience. BUT, in the interest of fair play, I agree with your assessment. Making it practical?? What about using someone else's pattern??? will that fall into your committee description?? I'll be watching this one to see what shakes....Hhhmmmm...interesting..

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      • #4
        Re: New Competition Category?

        A carver who does his own work has a broad number of categories that should meet his needs so not being able to enter into one where a piece has been jointly worked on would be no problem. While some might relish the idea of putting their personal work up against that of a group that too might not be considered fair if that person was a much more accomplished carver.

        As for politics entering into this argument I just don't see that point. If you were running a marathon you certainly wouldn't want to complete against a team entry. Where's the fairness in that? I wouldn't want to swim a 4 lap race against a team of two who only had to swim two laps each. I always hear the complaint as to why woodcarving is not accepted on an equal basis as an art form as other mediums. I would venture to say that this problem in judging just might be a contributing factor. How many paintings have you seen hanging in galleries or museums that were completed by a group? No doubt there are some but if I was the artist who signed my name on the canvas I don't think I should be worthy enough to claim full credit. No, we're talking about simple fairness here. We raise our children to compete fairly in life, at least I hope we do, so why should we expect exceptions in this case?

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        • #5
          Re: New Competition Category?

          Interesting question! Instead how about a catagory for original carvings entirely done by a single carver? I think that would be a much more interesting way to go as it would eliminate derivative and repetitious carvings and only have those carving that truly deserve it going head to head with each other. I think that would raise the bar and interest level for everyone!
          I have to state that I have never entered into a competition and so I dont know how these things are judged, but it seems to me that original carvings is what people want to see not the best rendition of the pattern on page 36 of any magazine, painted by a commitee of elves!
          Putting the empasis on originality would draw both more and better carvers as well as the interest of the public!
          Remember this is just my ignorant and uninformed opinion!

          Jim

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          • #6
            Re: New Competition Category?

            Well, some competitions have made a category for roughouts, so why not have one for carver/painter! A good friend of mine had to let his wife paint his for him, he was color blind. To me, that would/should be a valid reason. JMO

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            • #7
              Re: New Competition Category?

              Guess I might as well chime in. I have entered numerous competitions, won some, not others. I have also been a judge for carving competitions as well. In one case, I was the only judge, so politics didn't enter in to it! LOL Other times as a competitor, I have seen it, and I think it takes away from the idea of fairness. Of course, you will always get a competitor that says "the judges just don't like me", I doubt seriously that that is the case. As far as "committee carvings", I don't have a dog in that fight either. I just think sometimes we make things too hard. If there is a carver who is excellent, and say his wife is an excellent painter, then so be it. No disrespect meant to anyone, just my $.02. After all, are we part of competitions for the prize money (if any) or to gauge ourselves and our own accomplishments, and to share our love of this art form (or craft, uh-oh)?
              Steve Reed - Carvin' in the flatlands!

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              • #8
                Re: New Competition Category?

                I never entered any competition, but the way I see it is like if I felt I was not good enough to paint a carving I made and asked a good artist to paint it for me. Is it ok?

                We all know that the painting can make or break a wood carving.

                Is it judged on the carving, the painting, or both?

                Or what if I ask someone to carve the head of a caricature because he is better at heads than me, and carve the body and paint it myself?

                I think there should be a collaborative project category for these cases. The goal is to be fair to everybody.

                Gilles

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                • #9
                  Re: New Competition Category?

                  Would this be a catagory I could enter my dressed wooden carved dolls in also? I carve them from wood, and have someone else dress them. Just curious.

                  Marcia.

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                  • #10
                    Re: New Competition Category?

                    Isn't there a Category for pieces carved in a carving class? Maybe it coud be entered in something like that?? Just an idea.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: New Competition Category?

                      In our local club we have an "under advisement" category for pieces done during a class. I believe that these pieces are ineligible for "Best of Show" prizes. We also have a category for carvings done from a roughout. As far as I know, we don't have a "multiple artist" category. Not trying to prolong the discussion or cause an argument, but at what point do we say enough is enough. For this year we have something like 30 different categories, with 5 or 6 sub-categories under those. I just think sometimes we get carried away with the whole competition thing. We as a group are pretty easy-going people (my experience), so why can't the whole competition be a little more good-natured? As I stated in an earlier post, I honestly think judges try to be fair, but really, they are put in a bad position as well. I have heard some folks get upset with the judges over the whole "why did their carving win and mine didn't?" kind of thing. Having been on both sides of the fence so to speak, judging is a tough job! Also, if the "categories" keep multiplying, soon each carving could conceivably be in its own category! Just my humble opinion, no disrespect meant to anyone.
                      Steve Reed - Carvin' in the flatlands!

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                      • #12
                        Re: New Competition Category?

                        I think there isn't a "multiple carver/artist" category because one would naturally assume that the person entering the carving would be the one who carved it. Sure, it would be nice if we all just joined hands to sing Kumbaya when it came to judging but there has to be some kind of rules to give every carver an opportunity to compete fairly with other carvers. Throwing our hands up in the air and saying "Can't we all just get along?" doesn't address the question of several competing against the one. It's just not fair anyway you look at it. Shows have many different categories as certain types of carvings just can not be measured up against different style or techniques. 30 categories? That's great! It shows that your club recognizes 30 different forms of carving. Good for them! How about adding one more?

                        Here's the 4th rule for the AWC competition in Davenport, IA: "4. Entries shall be the work of the entrant." Here is the 2nd rule from the Great Plains Woodcarvers show in Wichita, KS: "All pieces must be hand-crafted by the artist." Here is a statement from the Eastern Oklahoma Woodcarvers show entry application: "all items to be entered in competition or offered for sale ARE MADE AND FINISHED BY ME." (emphasis theirs not mine.) I'll almost bet that if you looked at your own club rules you'd find similar statements. If so why don't we abide by them?

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                        • #13
                          Re: New Competition Category?

                          "We" should abide by the Rules of a particular show/event. That's why they're made.

                          Almost all shows are different....on many levels. If a carving (or 'work', depending on the event) doesn't fit within the rules, the artist should not complain if their piece gets eliminated from consideration.

                          I do believe I have seen some shows that had a category for 'multiple artists'....can't remember where though.

                          That being said - I don't know that I've ever seen a piece entered that was by more than one person. Not saying that's not done; just don't remember or know about it.

                          Same situation goes for rough-outs. Another concern is for the 'duplication' of other's work - such as Lynns. I see lots of 'familiar' work entered. Most shows allow this and it's fine. Especially in Novice and Intermediate categories (if they are categories in the show).
                          Member of Caricature Carvers of America
                          My website: https://mitchellcartledgewoodcarvings.com

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                          • #14
                            Re: New Competition Category?

                            Lynn, I agree with you whole-heartedly. In our club is a rule that any carving entered for competition must be the work of the carver entering it, further, it must be done in the last year and not entered previously. Guess I'm a little different. Sometimes I enter pieces in competition and sometimes I don't. It's nice to receive recognition from our peers for our work. So, I'm not advocating holding hands around the campfire and singing Kumbaya, and I really don't have a problem with "the rules". Forrest, I too have seen exactly the same thing you referenced in shows. Last year my wife and I walked around and looked for all the pieces that were from Chip Chaps and WCI. Again, in a sense its great that people strive to do similar work. I do have a problem with someone who, for example, produces a copy of one of Wayne Barton's chip carved designs, and enters it as an original work without giving credit. Again, speaking for myself, the competition isn't about the prize money, as most of the time it's not that much. Getting a blue ribbon vice a red? Ok, so ? Ultimately it doesn't affect how I think about the piece, my effort or the value of it.
                            Steve Reed - Carvin' in the flatlands!

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                            • #15
                              Re: New Competition Category?

                              I know everyone has an opinion about judging/rules/etc, and each stems from an incident or event that has affected them. Anytime we enter into an area where the criteria are subjective, we will disagree. In reference to Steve's post about seeing all the carvings that were featured in Chip chats/WCI..I think that is not such a bad thing. The design may be from the magazine, but the carver did the work themselves, and truley carved that piece. I guess this attitude stems from my dislike for roughouts, as the ones I see folks in my club doing seem to me to be about 75% done when they are purchased...just a few details and they are finished. In my opiniom. the projects done from scratch using just a pattern from a magazine show much more craftsmanship/artistic ability than a roughout. That said, I am taking a class at this years show next month and it is carving from a roughout, as I see nearly all classes are..I am sure this is to save time for instruction on details...even though at times I enjoy the blocking out/roughing out portion of a carving more than the detail and finishing work. To each his own I suppose, and we just have to keep an open mind and try to get along with out peers. I personally agree with Lynn that one artist on a piece is preferable to two....and I know others feel differently.

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