Rules - Wildfowl Carving Championships
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Rules

Wildfowl Carving Championships is an annual wildfowl carving competition, virtual in nature, and is not related to any other wildfowl carving competitions. WCC is an International Wildfowl Carvers Association (IWCA) Affiliate Member Organization, judging in accordance to IWCA rules in the divisions indicating “(IWCA Rules)”.

Wildfowl Carving Championships will be host to the 2022 IWCA Style Shorebird Decoy Championship, where $500 in prize money, along with rosettes are awarded for Best of Show winners. This event is sponsored by the IWCA with prizes awarded by the IWCA. Those competing in IWCA Championship events and for IWCA Decorative Carver of the Year, are required to be paid members of the IWCA to qualify for prize money, rosettes, and points toward IWCA Decorative Carver of the Year. (see details below).

General Rules

  1. All competitors, judges, and voters will be members of Wildfowl Carving Championships.
  2. Entrants are not required to be an IWCA Member to enter Wildfowl Carving Championships.
  3. All competitors in IWCA Championship Events (only) must be current members of the IWCA, with dues paid BEFORE entries are made into the IWCA championship event, to qualify for prize money and ribbons. Don’t be disqualified for non-membership in IWCA when you enter into an IWCA Championship event! Click Here to become a new member of the IWCA or to renew your IWCA membership.
  4. All novice and intermediate competitors wishing to accrue points for IWCA Decorative Carver of the Year must be current members of IWCA (dues paid) to collect points. Only entries created since the last Wildfowl Carving Championships (April 3, 2021) will be eligible for 2022 Decorative Carver of the Year points.
  5. All entries shall be hand made by the entrant.
  6. Your legal name must be used to enter your pieces. No nicknames will be accepted.
  7. All cash prizes will be paid electronically via PayPal. You may be required to create a PayPal account to receive winnings.
  8. A current photo of yourself will be uploaded to your profile. We want you to get the best exposure possible, so have someone take a good photo of you. Gravitar has been enabled for your membership profile page.
  9. There will be no creation date limit on entries. This means if you carved it in 1996, and you feel it can compete at the level of competition you compete in today, by all means, enter it.
  10. There will be no limit to the number of entries in any division, with the exception of decoy divisions, one hen/female and one drake/male per species is allowed.
  11. Identification marks, signatures, logos, and names shall be covered and not visible to the judges.
  12. The entry will include a Title. If there is no formal title to the entry, use the species, gender, and year carved as the title. Entrants may choose to add more details about the entry such as; material used to carve (wood, canvas, foam, brass, copper, etc) in the optional description field. The optional entry description field may include information that judges might use during judging, such as seasonal plumage, re-enforcement of fragile areas, act portrayed by subject/s, etc. No names will be used in the title or the description of an entry.
  13. Individual entry photos will require a description be entered for that photo such as; left side view, right side view, top view, close-up, etc.
  14. Carvers misrepresenting themselves will be subject to membership revocation or disciplinary action.
  15. Entries may only be entered one time. EVER. Entries recognized as previously competed entries, will be disqualified, and entry fee forfeited. Exception: 60/40 Auction Division, where previously competed entries may be entered.

Competition Levels (IWCA)

1. 1. Junior – Carvers 17 years of age or under.
1.2. Novice – Carvers who have not won two Best of Shows in the Novice level in any participating IWCA Competition.
1.3. Intermediate – Carvers who have won two Best of Shows in the Novice level in any participating IWCA Competition.
1.4. A carver who has previously won two Best of Shows in the Intermediate level in any participating IWCA Competition may not enter at the Intermediate level after the end of that calendar year.
1.5. Amateur (Does not apply for Wildfowl Carving Championships)
1.6. Open – Carvers who have won two Best of Shows in the Intermediate level at any participating IWCA Show or Competition.
1.6.1. “Open” may also refer to a division open to carvers of all levels. Typically, these divisions have no Novice or Intermediate levels and are not subject to advancement rules.

Advancement Rules (IWCA)

2.1. A carver who wins two Best of Shows in the Novice level at any participating IWCA Show or Competition will be advanced to the Intermediate level at the end of that calendar year. Two Best of Shows only applies when there are 10 or more entries in the division.
2.2. A carver who wins two Best of Shows in the Intermediate level at any participating IWCA Show or Competition will be advanced to the Open level at the end of that calendar year.
2.3. A carver may elect at any time to move up in level. Once a carver has voluntarily advanced to the next level of competition, that carver may not re-enter at the former lower level.
2.4. IWCA will review a challenged carver’s level and may re-vise the assigned level as a result of that review.
2.5. A carver’s level is the same for birds and fish.
2.6. For Decoy Carvers (non-decorative): Decoy carvers that have attained the Open level in decorative carving or won two best of shows as an open level decoy carver, may not drop down a level when competing in the decoy divisions (IWCA Style, Working, Canvas, Shorebirds). However, a decoy carver who has not attained decorative open class or is an open decoy carver, may elect to enter at the Novice, Intermediate, Novice / Intermediate, or Amateur divisions. Once two best of shows have been won, the carver must advance to the next level.
2.7. A carver may submit a request to IWCA asking to be set back one level, if the carver feels he/she has been advanced to a level in which he/she feels he/she is not qualified to compete. The IWCA determination will be final.

Judging Criteria (IWCA)

4.1. The following criteria will be used for all levels of com-petition and, unless specifically restricted elsewhere, in all divisions. All four criteria are important because they overlap and build on each other. In order for a piece to reach its fullest potential, it must succeed in all four areas simultaneously.
4.2. Craftsmanship refers to the technical skills involved in bird carving: sculpting, painting, and finishing techniques. The execution of craftsmanship will be looked for in the subject, any habitat, accessories, and the base itself, if there should be one. Good craftsmanship should be consistent throughout the entire piece.
4.3. Accuracy involves the correctness of a piece from a scientific perspective. Size, shape, color, pattern, location, number, are the concepts important here. Anything accompanying the subject must be given the same scrutiny. Accuracy involves the natural history of the whole piece, all of its components, and the appropriateness of those components together.
4.4. Essence of the Species involves capturing the “jizz” or “gestalt” of a species. It involves a thorough knowledge of one’s subject and the ability to capture an attitude in wood. Capturing the essence of your subject and giving it the spark that brings it alive.
4.5. Artistry of a piece refers to its design and composition. This is where presentation, innovation, and creativity all come into play. There should be beauty in the concept apart from the beauty of the bird itself. Line, form, con-tent, color, mass, and movement should all be working together to create an integrated whole.

Carver Code of Ethics (IWCA)

5.1. Carvers are responsible for knowing and understanding all rules of the contests entered.
5.2. Carvers are responsible for registration of his/her carvings at the appropriate level of competition (Open, Intermediate, Novice) and must move from level to level as the rules dictate. Carvers who deliberately violate this advancement rule will be declared ineligible to enter any IWCA Affiliated show for a period of one year.
5.3. Carvers shall address any questions or problems to the Show Chairman and/or IWCA Show Representative.
5.4. Carvers shall not communicate with the judges at any time during the judging process.
5.5. Carvers shall not display or have a carving critiqued by a judge prior to being evaluated by that judge in competition.
5.6. Carvers who solicit a judge to critique his/her carvings after they have been judged will accept the judge’s comments and criticisms courteously.
5.7. Carvings should be the sole work of the contestant.
5.8. Classroom entries are allowed at the Novice level only.
5.9. Cast parts are allowed at the Junior, Novice, and Intermediate levels only.
5.10. Carvers should not enter carvings to be judged by instructors or taxidermists from whose work the carving was created.
5.11. Carvings can be entered in any one show or competition one time only.

Judge’s Code of Ethics (IWCA)

6.1. Judges must have a copy of, have read and under-stand, and judge by the published rules of each IWCA Show.
6.2. Judges will examine all entries hands-on before making their selections.
6.3. Judges will not communicate with anyone other than assigned judges, clerks, show chairman, and / or an IWCA representative while in judging area.
6.4. Judges are not allowed to enter a carving in the level he or she is judging.
6.5. Judges will not allow personal feelings or personal con tact with the carvers to influence their decision during the judging procedure.
6.6. Judges will be fair and objective.
6.7. Judges will not judge a relative’s carvings or students’ carvings which he or she has hands-on work experience or given instruction.
6.8. Taxidermists cannot judge carvings done from the taxidermist’s mounts.

Judging Procedure

7.1. Judges select Best in Category from the first place carving in each species within that category (Marsh, Diver, etc.) When the judges select Best in Category, it will be removed and replaced with the second place carving from the same species, if there is a second.
7.2. Judges will then select Second in Category from the group of remaining first place (species) carvings and this second place (species) carving. If the second place (species) carving is selected as Second in Category, it should be removed to the winners’ area and replaced with the third place winner from that same species.
7.3. Judges then select Third in Category from the remaining first place carvings (species) and this third place (species) carving.
7.4. A simple method of judging for the Best of Category is to always replace the carving selected with the next place winner from the same species.
7.5. Once the judging is completed by categories (Marsh, Diver, etc.), judges consider the first place carving from each category. They will pick Best of Show from one of these carvings and move it to the winners’ area.
7.6. They will replace it with the second place carving from that category, and so on. Again, remember to always replace the carving selected with the next place carving from that same category.
7.7. It is the responsibility of the Show Chairman or the IWCA Representative to make sure a judge/chairman meeting is held to familiarize the judges with the rules.
7.8. It is recommended that the show competitions make reference material available for judging of all divisions. The use of field guides, smart phones, iPads and tablets to access reference materials is acceptable.

Floating Decoy Divisions (Working Decoy, Smoothie Decoy, Decorative Decoy) When there are five or more entries in a division of any category (Puddle Ducks, Diver Ducks, Sea Ducks, Geese and Swans, and Confidence) entries will be judged as a category for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in category, with winning category entries going on to be judged for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd best of show. When there are five or more entries of a single species, entries will be judged as a species for 1st, 2nd, 3rd in species, with 1st in species going on to be be judged for best in category.

Shorebird Division – When there are more than five entries in any category (Avocet, Oystercatcher, Stilt) (Curlew, Godwits, Whimbrel) (Plover) Yellowlegs/Willet) (Peep) (Turnstone, Dowitchers & Knots) (Egrets & Herons) entries will be judged as a category for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in category, with winning category entries going on to be judged for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd best of show.

Contemporary Antiques Divisions Pristine and Worn – When there are five or more entries in a category (Puddle Ducks, Diver Ducks, Geese and Confidence, Shorebirds, and All Others) entries will be judged as a category for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in category, with winning category entries going on to be judged for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd best of show.

Decorative Wildfowl Divisions (Decorative Lifesize Wildfowl, Decorative Miniature Wildfowl) – When there are five or more entries in a category (Birds of Prey, Songbirds, Shorebirds and Wading Birds, Seabirds, Upland Game Birds, and Waterfowl) entries will be judged as a category for 1st, 2nd, 3rd in category, with winning entries going on to be judged for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd best of show.

Interpretive Division – All entries will be judged as one category.

Junior Divisions – All entries for each age level (13-17), (9-12), (Under 9) will be judged as one category.

Rules

Working Decoy (IWCA) Master or Apprentice

    1. Decoys must be made by the carver and may be made of any carving material, foam, or stretched canvas.
    2. Decoys will be judged for simplicity, durability, and practicality.
    3. No detailed bills, carved nostrils or nails are allowed.
    4. Slight mandible separation is permitted.
    5. No fragile parts.
    6. Primaries may be undercut as long as they are not fragile.
    7. Painting schemes must be simplistic.
    8. Combing, stippling, brushing, ragging, scratching, blending, flocking and use of burnt cork are allowed.
    9. No feather splits or definitions other than outlining may be used.
    10. No wood burning or stoning.
    11. Texturing by means of paint or paste is allowed.
    12. Decoys must have a facility for an anchor line.
    13. NOT REQUIRED FOR 2022 WCC – Decoys must float in a lifelike manner, appropriate to pose or attitude. A 30-60 second YouTube video link will be submitted with each entry, and video will be viewed during live judging and should show the flotation and self-righting of the decoy at a distance of 20 feet.
    14. The decoy will be photographed from all views, on a flat surface. All aspects, above and below the waterline will be judged. (see requirements).
    15. Decoys will be judged for sturdy construction, durability, practicality of keel and ballast weights, anchor line attachments.
    16. NOT REQUIRED FOR 2022 WCC Decoys must float in a lifelike manner, appropriate to pose or attitude. A 30-60 second YouTube video link will be submitted with each entry, and video will be viewed during live judging and should show the self-righting and flotation at a distance of 20′ feet.

Smoothie Decoy (IWCA Style) Master or Apprentice

    1. Decoys must be made of wood, cork, or stretched canvas.
    2. Texturing will be allowed by rasping, chip carving, combing, scratching, stippling and flocking.
    3. No wood burning except as a cutting tool.
    4. Stoning or carving (no burning) will be allowed on the crest, tuft, or hood of any species of waterfowl with a crest, tuft, or hood as long as it remains sturdy and functional.
    5. Undercut areas, wingtips, tails, and necks must not be fragile.
    6. Feather groups may be simply carved (back, side-pockets, rump, and breast).
    7. Only primaries, tertials, scapulars and tail feathers may be individually carved.
    8. Detailed carving of the bill is allowed.
    9. Inserts may be used to strengthen weak areas such as bills, tails, and crests. Open bills are allowed.
    10. Feather splits may be carved.
    11. Decoys must have a facility for an anchor line. Keels and weights are not required.
    12. NOT REQUIRED FOR 2022 WCCDecoys must float in a lifelike manner, appropriate to pose or attitude.
    13. The decoy will be photographed from all views, on a flat surface. All aspects, above and below the waterline will be judged. (see requirements).
    14. There will be no restrictions on painting of decoys. The carver is allowed to create expressive poses to capture the many attitudes of waterfowl. Competitors are encouraged to paint to the highest level of artistry.
    15. Entries are restricted to one hen/female and drake/male per species.
    16. There are no restrictions as to the number or gender of the entries.
    17. Decoys must have no visible markings that will identify the carver and/or painter. All such marks must be covered with tape.
    18. Judging for essence of species, anatomy, coloration, and artistry.
  1. Shorebird Decoy (IWCA Style) Master or Apprentice
    1. Decoys must be made of wood or cork. Bills can be made of any material.
    2. Decoys are to be carved life-size and must be full-bodied. No silhouette decoys be allowed.
    3. Feather groups may be simply carved (crest, cape, plume areas, scapulars, tertials, primaries, tail and etc.)
    4. Bills may be detail carved and its fragility will not be considered in judging.
    5. Texturing will be allowed by rasping, chip carving, combing, scratching and stippling.
    6. Decorative stone texturing individually carved feathers will not be allowed. Inserts may be used for bills, tails, crest and head plumes. Open bills are allowed.
    7. No wood burning except as a cutting tool.
    8. Realism and creative postures, including legs, feet and creative bases are allowed.
    9. Painting to the artist’s highest ability is allowed.
    10. Final judging for projection and likeness to species will be evaluated from a minimum distance of eight feet in mind for this virtual setting.
    11. Entry will be photographed from all views, on a flat surface. (see requirements)

Contemporary Antique Pristine Master or Apprentice

    1. Entries have minimal wear with little evidence of field use.
    2. When there are more than five entries in a category (Marsh Ducks, Diving Ducks, Geese and Confidence, Shorebirds, and All Others).
    3. Entries will not be floated.

Contemporary Antique Worn Master or Apprentice

    1. Entries have evidence of heavy field use including, worn finishes and deterioration.
    2. When there are more than five entries in a category (Marsh Ducks, Diving Ducks, Geese and Confidence, Shorebirds, and All Others).
    3. Entries will not be floated.

Decorative Decoy (IWCA) OpenIntermediateNovice

    1. Subject may be any waterfowl or seabird species.
    2. Entries will be lifesize.
    3. Entries will be made of wood. Glass eyes are permitted. Materials other than wood, used to strengthen fragile areas, are acceptable.
    4. NOT REQUIRED FOR 2022 WCCEntries must float in a lifelike manner, appropriate to pose or attitude.
    5. The decoy will be photographed from all views (left side, right side, front, back, top and bottom with identifying marks covered). All aspects, above and below the waterline will be judged. (see requirements)
    6. Entries will be judged for life like attitudes and poses, workmanship and artistry, and overall essence of species. Expectation, is of the highest level of detail in this decorative division.

Decorative Lifesize Wildfowl (IWCA) OpenIntermediateNovice

    1. Entry must include one or more subjects of wildfowl species.
    2. Entries will be lifesize and detailed to the highest ability.
    3. Entries will be made of wood. Glass eyes are permitted.
    4. Entries will include a habitat base in which elements must be hand formed by competitor.
    5. Entry will be photographed from all views, on a flat surface. (see requirements)

Decorative Miniature Wildfowl (IWCA) OpenIntermediateNovice

    1. Entry must include one or more subjects of wildfowl species.
    2. Subject must be made of wood, glass eyes permitted.
    3. Entries will be ½ size or less not to exceed not to exceed eight inches from tip of bill to the tip of tail, along the length of the spine.
    4. Entries will be detailed to the highest ability.
    5. Entries will include a habitat base in which elements must be hand formed by competitor.
    6. Entry will be photographed from all views, on a flat surface. (see requirements)

Interpretive Wildfowl Sculpture OpenIntermediateNovice

    1. Entries must be completely made of wood with the exception of structural support elements.
    2. Bases of any material may be included, but are not required. If included, the base will be considered as part of the entry by the judges.
    3. Wildfowl is the subject. Entries will depict the “artistic interpretation” of a wildfowl species, one or more.
    4. There are no size restrictions.
    5. Entry will be photographed from all views, on a flat surface. (see requirements)

Divisions (Open to All Levels)
Eight (8) photos of each entry required – (5) required views – front view , back view, left view, right view, top view, and (3) close-up views of the carver’s choice. Size requirement 2000×2000 minimum, with a maximum file size of 6mg.

Decorative Wildfowl Head
All entries will be a lifesize head and neck of a single bird of any species, carved from wood (glass eyes permitted) and may or may not be mounted on a base of the carver’s choosing.

Decorative Feather
All entries will be lifesize, carved from wood, and displayed on a base of the carver’s choosing. The description of the feather will include the species, gender, feather (primary wing, tail, side-pocket, etc). One of the entry photos will be of the real feather, for comparison.

Cocktail Bird
All entries will be a waterfowl, carved from wood (glass eyes permitted) and be no larger than 3 1/2″ (88mm) in any direction. Entries may, or may not include a base.

Palm Frond Sculpture
All entries will be wildfowl. The majority of the sculpture must be made from a palm frond or fronds.