Show Rules

PACIFIC NORTHWEST CARVERS ADVISORY COUNCIL

Judging Criteria for Categories within Divisions relating to ” Northwest Coast Style “

Narrative:

What is N. W. Coast Style Art? This may be the hardest of questions to answer, but an attempt must be made no we will have a basis to create rules for judging. Although the art originated with the native peoples of the region, the purpose of carving competitions for Pacific NW Carvers is to recognize carving and artistry. Having said this, it remains important to have criteria that can be defined and then evaluated on its technical merits. For this reason, some attention must be given to the established traditions of the art. There is plenty of room for creativity in this particular art while remaining close to the established traditions and not incorporating elements of design or styles that detract from the original concepts. As stated by Bill Holm, renowned scholar and expert on the subject, to be creating northwest coast art, “you are following the practices or rules of the traditional carvers or you are doing something else”.

Northwest Coast Style Art is essentially a wooden art. It can be said that it is a curvilinear art form that owes it”s structure to a general set of design principles. The taste of ornament prevails in all the works, it is not to be expected that the figures are perfectly regular and the proportions in them are exactly observed, bra every piece displays a sort of elegance and perfection.

Look to the form line, does it delineate the anatomy and clarify the design? And then look beyond, are the transitions smooth and flowing, are the design elements of traditional shapes? Is there uniformity in the depth of similar cuts? Was there effective use of varying angles and elevations throughout the piece and of es individual design elements so that they accentuate it”s overall appearance? Is the painting smooth and concise, were the colors used within the accepted norms? Are the add ons effective in there use or were they attached in haste or lacking effective creative thought?

Recommended reading for judges of the PNC, to improve ones knowledge of the subject is the book Northwest Coast Indian Art ( An Analysis Of Form) by Bill Hahn and Looking at Indian Art of the Northwest Coast by Hilary Stewart.

CRAFTSMANSHIP:

Carving:

Are the cuts in relief comparable to what is seen in chip carving? Are the angles joined at the bottom? Are there blemishes, i.e. cuts in the side walls? Is there continuity in the carving itself, does the piece have a consistent shape from one side compared against the other or is one side shaped differently? Carving cuts should be done cleanly at the top and the bottom without break out at the surface. Clarity of the carved detail!

Textures:

If any are used, textures should be consistent in the intended area of the piece, this is not to be confused with a lack of finish. Textures of a common nature are concave divets in negative space such as the eye sockets or consistent gouge marks of a similar size and technique in an area that represents a feature such as a whale skin or scales etc. Far to often a carver puts very little effort into texturing and will create a sporadic texture. Attention should be given to equal spacing and depth by consistently reproducing the feature over and over again, poor attention to detail wouldn’t be accepted in wildlife or fish and should be evaluated in this division of judging.

Sanding:

Evaluate the degree of success in all areas of the carving, sanding should result in a highly beneficial appearance to the overall piece. An artist may choose not to sand the piece and choose instead to leave all the gouge or knife marks, ( similar to european flat plane carving ), this should not decrease the merits of craftsmanship. In fact, when it is done well it will have its own high degree of craftsmanship. Instead, it just places an additional burden on the judge to make an evaluation on the merits of the piece in other categories, but within the context of Craftsmanship. Carved design units are intended to have crisp edges, the over sanding is quite noticeable. The less experience a carver has the more they rely on sanding to create shapes, but this results in inconsistent and unequal design elements.

Painting:

Is there a consistent flow of the paint, that displays an even paint application throughout? Are the edges clean and concise or is there a build up of paint at the edges? Painting should be evaluated on the smoothness of the lines and whether painted edges are erotic or overlap into areas of opposing color or into the negative space that was intended to he left natural How color is used may be of interest here, and whether it adds or detracts from the piece.

Note: Skilled executions of all of the above and also the degree of difficulty should be considered.

ACCURACY

Form Line….. the fundamental element of the art. In totally natural wood finished pieces formlines are always uncarved and are outlined by carving. Formlines may be painted or left as negative space but must occupy the highest plane. It is the characteristic swelling and diminishing of this line like figure ( Formline ) that delineates design units and clarifies the anatomy. These formlines merge and divide, generally, they swell in the center of a given design unit and diminish at the ends establishing the principal forms of the design. Continuity is the goal, in a typical piece all primary units are connected with the exception of eye designs, and inner ovoids of joints. In essence, all the design units are connected via the formline. In a carved mask the eyes, eye browes, lips, nostrils, and other exceptions stand alone.

Color, Form, and Design fall into three categories:

Primary Form Line… Black or occasionally Red is substituted, These colors occupy the highest plain on a carved piece, but they are never carved.

Secondary Line or Design Unit… Red is the foremost secondary color. Secondary designs are often enclosed by primary form lines and are always in contact with the adjacent units at one or more points. A secondary color is often located on the same plain as the primary color. If Red is substituted for Black as the primary formline color then black becomes the secondary formline color.

Tertiary… Blue, Green, Blue/Green, White, Yellow. These are the third tier of colors, they are never used as form line and in carved areas will frequently appear on a plane lower than the surface plane that is occupied by the primary colors. White can be used as a background color. Tertiary colors and design units are always enclosed by primary or secondary designs. Areas for tertiary design and color include eyesockets, or space between the inner and outer ovoids of the eye, joint designs or some solid U’s or split U’s and certain spaces between primary or secondary designs in ears, feathers, teeth, mouth, fins, and other related fillers. A piece may have the use of one or possibly two tertiary colors but never any more. The color Red can appear as a third tier color in a tertiary design unit.

Design Units:

Ovoid… U shape… Split U.. S shape… L shape… Star or Curved Triangle… True/Thin Line… Circle… Cross Hatched Lines… Dashes

Add -Ons:

Copper… Cedar Bark Abalone… Operculum… Hair… Antler… Skins /Fur… Feathers… Horn Leather…

Note: Remember this is a curvilinear art form and design units that detract from this feature should be noticed and not considered accurate. The use of add-ons should not be the single reason to judge one piece less worthy than another since they are accepted and effective in the art. Latitude is given to the shade of colors for red, blue, green, blue/green, yellow.

 

Fish Carving Rules

 Decorative Life Size Division

Entries will be judged on technique/craftsmanship, artistry, and interpretation of the essence of the species, artistry, overall presentation, and originality. A carving should emphasize form, content, and movement rather than a realistic duplication of the fish. It should be presented in a style that provokes thought.
1. The entry is based on the whole fish and will consist of one or more complete fish of any species – with emphasis on creating an innovative and artistic composition.
2. Entries are to be made of wood. Other materials may be used for habitat and structural purposes, however, they must be hand-formed (with the exception of eyes). Pre-painted eyes of glass, plastic, or other materials may be purchased or formed and are eligible in this division at all levels.
3. Other materials such as bondo, epoxies, veil material, and other adhesives products may be used in the insertion of fins, constructing eyes, scale texturing, and the construction of the habitat.
4. No casting or molded products of any type may be used.
5. Large fish may compete in Decorative Life Size Division as a reduced version, provided the carved fish are at least 18 inches in length. There is no maximum size. For example, a 12-foot, 600-pound marlin or a 6-foot, 80-pound salmon would be carved so that the minimum size is 18 inches and reflects the mature anatomy of the life-size fish.

Decorative Miniature Division

Entries will be judged on technique/craftsmanship, artistry, and interpretation of the essence of the species, artistry, overall presentation, and originality. A carving should emphasize form, content, and movement rather than a realistic duplication of the fish. It should be presented in a style that provokes thought.
1. The entry will consist of one or more fish of any species with emphasis on creating an innovative and artistic composition.
2. Entries are to be made of wood. Other materials may be used for habitat and structural purposes, however, they must be hand-formed (with the exception of eyes). Pre-painted eyes of glass, plastic, or other materials may be purchased and are eligible in this division at all levels.
3. Other materials such as bondo, epoxies, veil material, and other adhesives products may be used in the insertion of fins and the construction of habitat.
4. No casting or molded products of any type may be used.
5. Entries for Miniature Division must be one-half size or less and must be 8 inches or less in every dimension for the fish. Both criteria must be met.

 

Wall Mount Division

Entries will be judged on technique/craftsmanship, artistry, and interpretation of the essence of the species, artistry, overall presentation, and originality. A carving should emphasize form, content, and movement rather than a realistic duplication of the fish. It should be presented in a style that provokes thought.
1. For the category of Wall Mount, any artist with an entry not suitable for tabletop display is required to provide the appropriate attachments that will safely aid in the hanging of the sculpture. If in doubt contact the hosting show for requirements.
2. Entries are to be made of wood. Other materials may be used for habitat and structural purposes, however, they must be hand-formed (with the exception of eyes). Pre-painted eyes of glass, plastic, or other materials may be purchased and are eligible in this division at all levels.
3. Other materials such as bondo, epoxies, veil material, and other adhesives products may be used in the insertion of fins and the construction of habitat.
4. No casting or molded products of any type may be used

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