Monday 9 July 2018
The Woodcarving Competition is one of the highlights of the year for the magazine. It is a great time to showcase the amazing talent which is evident amongst the readers, and is an opportune moment to bring the international comminity of carvers together under one umbrella.
This year saw record numbers enter, almost 300 of you, and the standard is definitely up on recent years, which made judging all that bit more difficult, but pleasurable nonetheless.
The judges: woodcarving tutor Paul Bignell; Group Editor Mark Baker; and Editor Michelle Robertson, locked themselves in a room for the day and emerged some hours later with a list of winners. Of course we can only award a few and there were many, many wonderful entries, so a big well done to everyone who took part.
A big thank you to our sponsors Axminster Tool Centre and Flexcut Tool Company who have awarded great prizes for the three categories of In the Round, Relief, and Painted, plus the Woodcarver of the Year. Gold receives £120, Silver £100, Bronze £75 and Woodcarver of the Year, a further £75!
In the Round
GOLD WINNER: Krakonos By Peter Paces, Surrey, UK. Timber: Lime (stained and waxed). Dimensions: 430 x 250 x 125mm
Judges' comment: “Technically this is a superb and very clever carving; what else can I say? The muscle definition, the detail of the cloak, the way the form of the body is defined under the cloak; all details wonderfully observed. A great piece from a very talented carver who makes very difficult work look so easy!”
Carver's comment: “The Krakonos is a legendary, giant mountain spirit who lords over the weather and lives on the mountain range of the Czech-Polish border. Being originally from the Czech Republic myself, I find him a wonderful and fascinating figure to carve.”
SILVER WINNER: Girl Without A Pearl Earring By Leo Pruijt. Amersfoort, Netherlands. Timber: Plane. Dimensions: 360 x 190 x 180mm
Judges' comment: “This is another carving that I find myself gazing at and being drawn to the face. The carving is not over fussy but has just enough detail to convey expression and life, and a sense of longing. The side profile of this young lady is particularly eye-catching and captured very well.”
BRONZE WINNER: Fruit de Mer By Terry Scott. Auckland, New Zealand. Timber: Black walnut, olive, red mallee burl. Dimensions: 460 x 320mm
Judges' comment: “This is one carving I really wished we had in the office as I think I would be picking it up all day just to feel the wonderfully different textures on this piece: the smoothness of the shell and pearl, contrasted with the roughness of the burr. This is a very nicely conceived carving, striking to look at and spectacularly crafted.”
GOLD WINNER & WOODCARVER OF THE YEAR: A Penny For Them By Peter Downham. Redcar, UK. Timber: Sycamore. Dimensions: 185 x 210 x 50mm
Judges' comment: “This carving I found to be highly emotive. I think the carving has been superbly realised and I am still unable to work out the thoughts this man is thinking. I found myself lost in this piece for many minutes, captivated by it. Even after a few days of first seeing it, I still find myself going back to look at it again. I find it quite haunting.”
SILVER WINNER: Ebrahim in Fire By Mohammad Reza Gerami. Tehran, Iran. Timber: Boxwood, jujube, walnut, betel nut, pomegranate,and maple. Dimensions: 150 x 70mm
Judges' comment: “As soon as I looked at this carving I was stunned by the immediate impact and beauty of this piece. For me, this is what a truly great carving is all about: being able to convey emotion, beauty and passion to the onlooker. The intricate detail is just breathtaking and the surrounding support balances this piece wonderfully. Superb!”
Carver's comment: “My work is an inspiration of the story of Abraham in the fire. According to the Quran, when Abraham was put into fire, it became a rose garden for him. The fire did not hurt him by God's order.”
BRONZE WINNER: The Old Joiners' Workshop By Trevor Metcalfe. Huddersfield, UK. Timber: Lime with mahogany frame. Dimensions: 442 x 317mm
Judges' comment: “I immediately liked this and felt really drawn to it; perhaps it is a reflection of the woodworker in me. There is a lot of clever detail in this relief, from the shavings of timber on the floor, to the supervisor sitting in the corner overseeing the hard work of the craftsmen. It really is a well laid out and good carving!”
GOLD WINNER: Black Swan Swimming By Maggie Port. Salisbury, UK. Timber: Jelutong and lime. Dimensions: Lifesize
Judges' comment: “We had quite a big leap in the number of bird carvings we received this year, and very good ones at that too, but this black swan really just stood out on its own. It is superbly captured in every way, from the movement of the feet pushing the bird through the water, to the fine detailing of the feathers. A lot of skill, love and work has clearly gone into making this swan magnificent and I just love looking at it. A well deserved gold for this carver.”
Carver's comment: “My husband had the fortune of being able to photograph a black swan and when I saw it, I immediately knew that this is what I wanted to carve. I like carving on a big-scale and so the black swan offered the perfect opportunity.”
SILVER WINNER: Bufflehead Drake By Thomas Fitzpatrick. Cheshire, UK. Timber: Jelutong and boxwood. Dimensions: 230 x 150 x 115mm
Judges' comment: “Life-like, superb attention to detail and the colouring is exquisite. The body position and the iridescent head colours, and the way the eyes follow the viewer bring it alive. I keep expecting it to move.”
BRONZE WINNER: Mr Pickwick By Ernie Perkins. Epping, Australia. Timber: NSW rosewood, huon pine (coat and boots), African wenge (waistcoat) and jelutong (trousers). Dimensions: 650 x 250 x 270mm
Judges' comment: “I really liked this carving. It is clever and the detail is tremendous. The accessories and the way the coat tails fall over his hand from behind are lovely touches. Facial expressions and overall smoothness of finish really accentuate the liveliness of this character, which is further complemented by the nice use of stains.”
Hidden Treasures. By Roger Strautman. Indianapolis, USA. Timber: Basswod and walnut. Dimensions: 610 x 610mm
Judges' comment: “The intricacies and mechanisms on this carving are really breathtaking! A superb example of chip carving too.”
Open Wide By Moira Powell, Dorset, UK. Timber: Black walnut, beech, pine. Dimensions: 305 x 240 x 115mm
Judges' comment: “This is a fun and playful piece with nice composition and considered use of timbers. I still chuckle every time I see this. It is something I would love to have on my shelf to cheer me up on a grey day.”
Puss in Boots By Tom Ryan, Co Wexford, Ireland. Timber: Lime and pine. Dimensions: 485 x 255 x 255mm
Judges' comment: “A great little carving with plenty of detail and touches. I love the pose of this character which expresses the feline aspect very well, and the movement is captured nicely. And the little mice and snake playing about him are wonderfully realised. Great fun!”