2008 Santa Carving Contest – Grand Prize Winner

Best Carving Design Contest Archive

2008 Santa Carving Contest – Grand Prize Winner

Judges Notes: Hyung Jun Yong’s Santa wowed the judges with its wonderful facial expression. The carving is highlighted with clean deliberate cuts. The overall design is novel, but believable. Hyung Jun’s easy style is reminiscent of early Emil Janel flat-plane carvings. The ability to capture the essence of Santa with minimal cuts is what makes this carving an award winner.


“This is a new generation of Santa Claus who enjoys winter sports, such as skiing, snowboarding, and snow kick-boarding,” Hyung Jun said. “I had a family video of my sister-in-law’s husband dressed up as Santa giving a snow kick-board to his son. When I watched the video, it inspired me to capture the scene in a carving.”

It took Hyung Jun about 60 hours to carve the scene. The entire project is carved from a single block of basswood. Hyung Jun used a number of carving knives and a few gouges to carve the piece.

The scene measures 5″ tall by 3″ wide by 12″ long. Hyung Jun’s wife, Joo Hyun-Lim, painted the piece with acrylic paints thinned with varnish. Basswood is not native to Korea, so Hyung Jun imports it from the United States.

In South Korea, Hyung Jun said most Santas look like the classic Coca-Cola Santa. Hyung Jun’s design is loosely based on this iconic Santa. Hyung Jun, a sales manager at an industrial coatings company, started carving in 2006.

Flat-plane woodcarving is not popular in South Korea. Historically, Koreans have carved Buddha statues, Korean-style wood spirits, wooden masks, marionettes, and signs. Hyung Jun is eager to introduce flat-plane and other American styles of carving to Korea.

The Grand Prize winner will receive tools and supplies from Arbortech, Chipping Away, Colwood, Foredom, Heinecke Wood Products, and Prox-Tech.

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