Best Carving Design Contest / Contests

The Votes are in for the Second People’s Choice Contest 2016

Congratulations to the second winners in the WCI People's Choice Awards Logo2016 People Choice Contest!

We are trying something new this year. Instead of running one big competition, we are breaking it into ongoing mini matches. Plus, we are offering cash prizes! Special thanks to our second contest sponsors, Chipping Away.

The second category, announced last fall, was Deep Blue Sea. Although we didn’t receive many entries, they were strong designs that demonstrated creative carving and finishing. We’ll be talking to some of these carvers about sharing their projects in future issues.

Deep Blue Sea: Unpainted

First Place: Sting Ray In Motion

Anthony Gnutek of Roselle, Ill., carved the Sting Ray In Motion from cherry. The body, wings, and tail are one complete piece. The stingray is mounted on a manzanita root. Anthony said he was inspired “after taking a trip to the Cayman Islands where I had a large stingray swim into my arms as I was holding a piece of squid in my hand. It stayed on my arms for a while, giving me a chance to look into its eyes and take notice of this wonderful, gentle creature. The graceful movement this animal possessed was absolutely beautiful. I tried my best to capture this movement in my carving.” Sting Ray In Motion is 7 1/2″ by 11″ by 14″.


Second Place: Pas de Deux

Janet Cruse of Manitoba, Canada, power-carved the 18″-tall Pas de Deux from cherry with glass insets. “Seahorses mate for life and swim in pairs with their tails linked together, the small fin on their back fluttering in a ballet-like dance,” said Janet. “Including inset stained-glass pieces adds
a delightful element of light.”

Third Place: Brook Trout

Mike Janik from McMinnville, Ore., handcarved Brook Trout from cypress that was salvaged from an old water tower.

Deep Blue Sea: Painted

Luis Arturo Torres-Octopus

First Place: Octopus

Luis Arturo Torres of Carmel, N.Y., handcarved the 2 1/2″ by 5 1/2″ Octopus from basswood. “This contest reminded me of my scouting days in Puerto Rico when we would go to the ocean and explore the underwater life,” said Luis of his inspiration for the carving.

Second Place: Up, Up, Breathe

Diane Hight of Fredonia, Kan., carved the 8″ by 12″ Up, Up, Breathe from basswood. Diane said her inspiration “came from photos and documentaries of humpback whale mothers pushing their babies to the surface for that crucial first breath. I found myself often holding my own breath as I completed the attachment of the calf to her mother.”

Third Place: Porkfish

Brian Altison of Holden,
Mass., power-carved the 5 1/2″ by 11 3/4″ Porkfish from tupelo and pine. All components are carved. “I started this fish after researching Belize on the Internet,” said Brian. “I saw that the country is home to many different fish; this one caught my eye for its beautiful colors.”

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