wildfowl-carving.com

Editor's Column: Same Time Next Year

By: Tom Huntington

On the cover: Barry Woodcraft’s snow goose was a winner at the 2009 Ward World Championship.

I always feel a sense of bittersweet melancholy when I start packing up my stuff at the end of the annual Ward World Championship in Ocean City, Maryland. It means one of wildfowl carving’s biggest weekends, an event to which many people look forward all year long, is over. Some will go away elated and some disappointed, but a lot of them will already be thinking about what they’ll do next year.

Of course, the show provides the chance to view some of the best wildfowl carvings you’re ever going to see. It’s also nice at the end of each day to head back to a beachside hotel and drink a cold beer on the balcony as you gaze at the endless expanse of the Atlantic Ocean and listen to the soft crash of the waves. I find time to eat a few crab cakes, too.

And then, almost before I know it, it’s all over.

This year, Larry Barth took home Best in World in life-size wildfowl with a diminutive warbler on a branch that must have required hours of patient torch work. What was it the man said about genius being an infinite capacity to take pains? Pat Godin won a bunch of awards, including Best in World in decorative miniatures with a great prairie chicken, part of his North American grouse series that we featured back in the Spring 2007 issue. Gary Eigenberger really did well, too. I was especially struck by the heron just taking flight with which he won Best in Masters in decorative miniature wildfowl. One piece that really got people talking was the People’s Choice winner, an interpretive sculpture of a heron created by Maine artist Ashley Gray. Second People’s Choice, Floyd Scholz’s life-size eagle, also attracted crowds all weekend.

I could go on and on. You can find complete results at the Ward Museum’s website (www.wardmuseum.org). Now it’s time to start thinking about next year.

This article is from the Summer 2011 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.

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