Calgary Wildfowl Carving Art Festival – Antler Sculpture Division

Calgary Wildfowl Carving and Art Festival - Banner and Entrance

Calgary Wildfowl Carving and Art Festival, Inglewood Hall, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

The Calgary Wildfowl Carving Art Festival included, for the first time anywhere of which I am aware, a distinct, competitive Antler Sculpture Division. Though the focus of the Festival was the representation of bird life in wood, the subject matter included in the Antler Sculpture Division was all inclusive.

It was an honour to attend the Festival as judge of the Antler Sculpture Division.

As a new competitive division, there was a necessity to divide the entries into basic categories and establish guidelines upon which the work was to be judged. (Antler carvers – please feel free to comment on this post with any feedback you have which will help inform future competitions.)

There are many different ways antler (or horn, bone and ivory) can be used in art, but the focus of an Antler Sculpture Division is work in antler that has been carved in some way.

I have identified 4 broadly defined categories of Antler Sculpture:

ANTLER SCULPTURE CATEGORIES

1. ANTLER – the antler is carved without the addition of colour, stain, burning or other media

2. COLOURED ANTLER – the antler is carved with additions of colour, stain, or burning

3. MIXED MEDIA ANTLER – the antler is carved with the addition of other media (wood, gut, other), with or without colour

4. OTHER RELATED – a catch-all category for carvings in horn, bone or ivory

Within each of these categories, sub-categories may be created for full or partial antlers. Eventually, the creation of skill level classes for novice, intermediate or open carvers may also be desirable.

First Place, Mixed Media Antler – ‘Wild Boar and Laikas’ by Dmitry Gorodetsky

First Place, Mixed Media Antler – ‘Wild Boar and Laikas’ by Dmitry Gorodetsky

When judging Antler Sculpture, several things should be taken into consideration:

ANTLER SCULPTURE GUIDELINES

A. Quality of the carving: is the work clean, precise and appropriate for the effect being attempted; does the artist employ variety in line and texture?

B. Use of antler: have the unique features of the antler been utilized in the carving (twists, turns, abnormalities, natural colours, multiple planes)?

C. Composition: is the design of the carving effective based on common artistic principles, does it work well with the natural structure and layout of the antler?

D. Originality: has the artist attempted to create something of his/her own, rather than following an established pattern?

E. Detail: is the level of detail appropriate for the way in which the sculpture is to be viewed or ‘read’?

Calgary Carving Festival Antler Carving Competition Entries

F. Colour: does the addition of colour (paint, stain, burning) enhance the carving or draw attention away from the carving?

G. Other Media: does the addition of other media (wood, gut, feathers, etc.) enhance the carving or draw attention away from the carving?

H. Subject: the sky’s the limit for subject matter depicted (realistic, abstract, animal, vegetable, mineral, etc.); has it been carefully considered and depicted in an interesting way?

I. Style: does the artist have a unique style, is it consistent throughout the work?

And now for the results of the Calgary Wildfowl Carving Art Festival – Antler Sculpture Division!

First Place, Coloured Antler - ‘Grizzly and Miner’ by Rob Baumann

Rob Baumann holds his antler sculpture, ‘Grizzly and Miner’, which took First Place, Coloured Antler

ANTLER SCULPTURE DIVISION RESULTS

1. ANTLER: First Place – ‘Ram’ (in progress) by Keith Levoir

2. COLOURED ANTLER: First Place – ‘Grizzly and Miner’ by Rob Baumann

3. MIXED MEDIA ANTLER: First Place – ‘Wild Boar and Laikas’ by Dmitry Gorodetsky; Second Place – ‘Bear and Laikas’ by Dmitry Gorodetsky

4. OTHER RELATED: First Place – ‘Rams and Cougars’ (big horn ram horn) by Tom Anderson (OLPA); Second Place – ‘Caribou’ (musk oxen horn) by Jason Voghell

Congratulations to all who participated!

Vistors to the Festival appreciate the carved antler and horn sculptures.

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2 thoughts on “Calgary Wildfowl Carving Art Festival – Antler Sculpture Division

    • Thanks for the feedback, Jim. Your work would certainly have made a welcome addition to the festival. As you kindly indicated, there are still a few bugs to work out of the system for next time. This was a great toe-in-the-water experience for all involved and the next competition should be flawless! There was some discussion at the festival that this may become a bi-annual affair, so there should be plenty of time to prepare for the next one. We’ll keep the antler carving community apprised of future events here on antlercarver.com.

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