In early 2020, Covid-19 changed the world. Group gatherings and events everywhere were cancelled indefinitely. For the wildfowl carving world, the first was the Ward World Championship, followed closely by the ODCCA show in Strongsville, Ohio. It was then when it became apparent, 2020 was going to be different than any other year in the history of the world, and in the history of wildfowl carving.
Like so many other businesses and trades, the move to a digital presence to conduct business was necessary for survival, not only for the businesses, but for those who do business with them. It is no different for wildfowl carving, carvers cannot stand still and wait, we must press ahead into this digital world and get on the bandwagon to survive this. Once past this, and when the ability to hold public events returns, WCC will still be there as an alternative format for wildfowl carvers to compete, promote, market, sell, and show off their works to the rest of the world.
The good news is, never has the world been more ready for the digital transition taking place right now. The tools are available and are currently being utilized to bring wildfowl carving championships into the digital world, using high resolution images, and HD Video.
Columbia Flyway did it first, followed by Wildfowl Carving Magazine which is now getting ready for its 3rd year of online digital competition, Online Competition really does work.
Wildfowl Carving Championships knows the importance of being an active promoter of the art of wildfowl carving, Sitting by and doing nothing was not acceptable, knowing the shows and the competitions are what keep this art form alive. The Collective was formed.
There will be three areas of competition, Traditional Decoys, Decorative Wildfowl, and Auction. In Traditional Decoys there will be two levels of competition; Master and Apprentice. In the Decorative Wildfowl Divisions there four levels of competition, open, intermediate, novice, and junior level. There will be six divisions in Traditional, working decoy, smoothie decoy, decoy rig, shorebird decoy, contemporary antiques (pristine) and contemporary antiques (worn) divisions. The decorative wildfowl divisions include, decorative decoy, decorative pair, decorative lifesize, decorative miniature, and interpretive, The auction divisions include decorative head, decorative feather, cocktail bird, palm frond, decorative pin. Entries will be judged, awarded digital awards, and prize money will be awarded for first, second, and third places in each division, except the junior level.
For the auction divisions, entries will be auctioned to the general public two weeks following the end of the championships. Proceeds to be split 60/40, with sixty percent going to the competitor. This supports the competitor, creates a sales platform and sparks new awareness of the art form.
Wildfowl Carving Champions is set up to support itself, with 80% entry fee payouts funding the cash prizes in all of the championship and auction divisions, except junior where there are no entry fees. The number of entries in any division will determine the amount of prize money won. As the entries grow in number, so will the prize money.
Judging will take place using a video conferencing service Zoom, to bring judges together for a group judging, similar to the real group of judges at the show. Judges will be able to view and discuss entries, and come to a group consensus.
All of us look forward to the return of the brick and mortar venues, they are sorely missed by all. Our goal is to keep wildfowl carving alive during these uncertain times and beyond, by offering a new venue for competition, and to promote wildfowl carving to the world!
The Collective – Wildfowl Carving Championships – January 2021