Rules - Wildfowl Carving Championships
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Rules

Wildfowl Carving Championships is a brand new wildfowl carving competition, virtual in nature, and is not related to any other wildfowl carving competitions or organizations. Some have mistaken this venue, for the Ward World Championship of Wildfowl Carving, or for a Wildfowl Carving Magazine event. Wildfowl Carving Championships is an IWCA Affiliate Member Organization judging in accordance to by IWCA rules.

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 due paid BEFORE entries are made into the IWCA championship event, to qualify for prize money and ribbons. Don’t get 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 in 2021 will be eligible for 2021 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.
  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.

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, Decoy Rig, Decorative Decoy, Decorative Pair) 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.

Rules

Working Decoys (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. 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. 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 Decoys (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. 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.
    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.

Decoy Rig  Master or Apprentice

    1. Any species of waterfowl or seabird in any seasonal plumage will be eligible.
    2. Three (3) decoys are required, a drake and a hen of the same species, and a third of the same or another species.
    3. All decoys will be constructed of wood. Cork and foam decoys will not be eligible. Glass eyes are permitted.
    4. Each decoy will be required to have an anchor line attachment.
    5. Each decoy will be photographed from all views including left side, right side, front, back, top and bottom with identifying marks covered. Then and as a rig on a flat surface, with or without a base, from two views of the entrant’s choice). All aspects, above and below the waterline on decoys will be judged, bases will not be considered by judges as part of the rig. (see requirements)
    6. 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 each decoy and flotation of the rig at a distance of 20′ feet.
    7. Minimal carving to be used. Definition of feather groups and other prominent details found in certain species, to simulate areas such a crest feathers, specialty scapular feathers, etc.
    8. Undercut and potentially fragile areas must be re-enforced for durability. Materials other than wood may be used to strengthen these areas. When present on the decoys, competitor must include a description of methods used achieve durability in vulnerable areas with the entry.
    9. Decoys will not be finely textured by stoning or burning. Combing, scratching, and brushing using gesso or modelling paste is acceptable for vermiculation and other applications, keeping in mind this is a glorified smooth decoy. A decorative smoothie, as it is often referred.
    10. There are no restrictions to painting. Competitors are encouraged to paint to the highest level of artistry.
    11. Keels and weights, as well as their artistry will be considered in the judging.
    12. Marks of identification must be covered and not be visible to the to the judges.

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) OpenIntermediateNoviceJunior

    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. Entries 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 of your entry from all views. Decoys are not required to self-right.
    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 Decoy Pair OpenIntermediateNoviceJunior

    1. Subject will include one hen/female and one drake/male of (same species) of waterfowl or seabird species.
    2. Entries will be lifesize.
    3. Entries will be carved from wood. Glass eyes are permitted. Materials other than wood, used to strengthen fragile areas, are acceptable.
    4. Entries must float in a lifelike manner, appropriate to pose or attitude. A 30-60 second YouTube video link will be submitted with each entry, to be viewed during live judging, and should show the flotation of each bird individually from all views, and as a pair. Decoys are not required to self-right.
    5. Each decoy will be photographed from all views (left side, right side, front, back, top and bottom with identifying marks covered, and as a pair from two views of the entrant’s choice). 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) OpenIntermediateNoviceJunior

    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) OpenIntermediateNoviceJunior

    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 OpenIntermediateNoviceJunior

    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)

Competitors winning 1st Best of Show in any championship division at the open level, qualify for judging the next championship of the division they won, and will not be eligible for entry in the division won in the next championship.

Auction Divisions (Open to All Levels) (Open Only to US Residents) Learn Why?
The 60/40 Auction Division were created to help carvers make some money by selling their entries at auction, and to help support the costs of running an online virtual championships of this magnitude. Some of those costs include software development, website and graphic development, hosting and server fees, advertising and marketing, and more. We at Wildfowl Carving Championships appreciate your support by entering your donation for competition followed by the auction. Four (4) photos of each entry are required 2000×2000 minimum and maximum file size of 6mg.

Decorative Lifesize 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). Real feathers will not be included in the entry.

Palm Frond
The subject will be lifesize and any bird species with the majority of the carving to be carved from a palm frond or fronds. Entries will need to be small enough to fit into a USPS Flat Rate Box, dictating smaller species in this division. Palm Fronds will become a Decorative Wildfowl Division in 2022, due the restrictions necessary requiring US Residents Only.

Cocktail Bird
All entries will be a bird or birds, 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.

Decorative Pin
All entries will be a bird or birds, carved from wood (glass eyes permitted), and no larger than 1 1/2″ (38mm) in any direction, and must have a pin affixed to the back.