Saturday, August 17, 2013

carving competitions

So today I thought I would touch base with the whole carving competition thing. It's heavy on my mind since I have sent off five of my carvings to an annual competition.

First a little background information, I carved for a few years in the 80's and then life got busy and I stopped for a long while. Then in 2008 for a Christmas gift my boss Eddie gave me some rough-out duck heads he had from when he was trying to learn the process of carving ducks. From what he told me he could shoot 'em just not carve 'em. Well I got out the old X-acto knives, it's what I used back then and began to carve away. This got me started again with my long lost passion. I then got a magazine or two, and in one was an article about a caricature carver and that was when it all came together. The light went off and I realized that I could learn to carve these characters and someday carve my own cartoons, my own illustrations.

So nowadays I consider myself a caricature carver in training continuing to study and learn to hone my skills, hoping to always see an improvement over the previous carving and/or consistency in my carving. I hit a mild stone last year when I entered my very first contest and got a fifth place ribbon for Durante Claus, my Christmas ornament. It was no small task as it took the encouragement from my family and a carving mentor, Mr. Akers.

This year I have entered again with five carvings that at least from my perspective are stronger carvings from what I was doing last year. So no matter how the competition comes out I know I have improved as a carver. So back to the main topic; carving competitions............

You see I am still not sure how I feel about the competitions, it ain't cheep to send these off and to have them returned postage paid of course. Then there is the worry, did I pack them careful enough that they will survive the trip? What about the pipe did I wrap enough that it will make the trip? There is a reason my nickname is Ricardo-monk-a-bond after all. Finally there is the competition itself, I was told over 200 people entered last year, so I say this completely understanding why but, you get no feedback on your carvings from the judges. You see I don't have any groups that I have found around here so far except for one an hour or so away and with my family schedule it's hard to make most if any events. So I ponder is there value to the contest. I can't be there to see the faces of the judges (it's closed judging any way) so unless I can snag a ribbon is the investment worth the cost? Well either way once I get them home safe and unbroken I will breath a sigh of relief and rethink this at that time, with a tainted view point to be sure. If I win a ribbon then maybe I will think it was worth the cost and time and if I don't, well you get the idea.

Either way remember,

Carpe diem carving

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