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CCA National Caricature Carving Competition

By Bob Travis and Randy Landen

Photography by Jack A and Carole Williams

The CCA National Caricature Carving Competition moved north in 2007 from Pigeon Forge, KY to Converse, IN, where it was hosted by the Eastern Woodland Carvers Club (EWCC).  Over one hundred and ninety carvings were entered in the 5th annual competition. The week-long event once again included the carving competition, CCA’s annual business meeting, one-day mini-seminars, and 3-day workshops.   

Competition entries were received in Converse by an EWCC committee, who unpacked and set up the carvings by category prior to the arrival of the three-member CCA judging team.   Judges Tom Brown, Randy Landen and Gerald Sears report that many of the judging decisions were difficult.  The quality of the entries was exceptionally high, and the awards were limited to 5 places in each category.  In the end, the judges selected first through fifth place winners in each category along with the five Best of Show carvings. 

Best of Show Winners

Best-of Show went to P.J. Driscoll of Council Bluffs, IA for Muddy Missouri Catfish Noodling.  P.J. took home the $500 cash prize along with the special CCA trophy, and the CCA Merit ribbon.

Sandy Smith of Lakeview, AR took Second Best-of-Show, and a $400 cash prize for her detailed entry, Santa and K-9’s

Third Best-of-Show was claimed by Wayne Shinlever of Knoxville, TN for his Santa’s Workshop scene Get-R-Done.  Wayne, a perennial winner in this competition, was awarded $300. 

Fourth Best-of-Show, and a $200 cash prize, went to Art Mann of Ames, IA for his horse and ferrier called New Shoes

Andy Hoover of Clearfield, PA received Fifth Best-of-Show and a $100 cash award for Wearing the Pants in the Family.  Andy’s carving was a hilarious spoof of Bill and Hillary Clinton. 

Congratulations to all of the winners, and a special “thank you” to all of the contestants and sponsors.  The national support from the carving community is what makes this event a huge success each year.  For those of you who have yet to enter our competition, we encourage you to send your carvings to Converse next September.  Competition information and the 2008 application will be available on our web site in January.  

Open House

Saturday evening was set aside for an open house, hosted by EWCC, for the competition entrants, seminar students, local carvers, and the CCA.  Attendance at the event was estimated in excess of 300 people.  Everyone was treated to great food, top-notch company, and a special exhibit of nearly 100 carvings by CCA members.  It was a wonderful evening. 


Sunday was mini-seminar day.  Eight CCA instructors conducted 90-minute mini-seminars on a range of caricature-related topics.  Forty-two students attended the mini-seminar sessions.  Each session was a hands-on class, allowing the students an opportunity to try the instructor’s methods on carving faces, hands, or specialty items such as buttons and zippers.  The mini-seminars will not be offered in 2008; however, we will continue to hold our annual three-day workshop.    


Monday through Wednesday was set aside for our annual CCA workshops.  Thirty-nine students carved one day each with David Sabol, Gerald Sears, and Dave Stetson.  David Sabol’s class carved a cute caricature Santa from a band-sawn cutout.  Gerald Sears and Dave Stetson’s students were able to select from a variety of full-body roughouts. Even though students had only one day with each instructor, most either completed the project, or came very close to completion.  

For 2008, the 3-day workshop will be held in Converse from September 19th through the 21st.  Keith Morrill, Harley Schmitgen, and Dennis Thornton will instruct.  For further information please see the CCA web site.  

New CCA Projects

The CCA embarked on two new projects during 2007.  For the first time, we are offering a limited edition carving knife to the carving community.  The knives, made by Helvie Knives, are a limited production of 100, individually numbers carving knives, laser engraved with the CCA logo.  They are available while the supply lasts.  Additional information, including a photograph of one of the knives, can be found on our web site. 

Likewise, the CCA in partnership with Fox Chapel Publishing, just released its third paperback book, “Caricature Carvers Showcase”, full of patterns and pictures from the CCA.  The book is also available on our website. 

The CCA extends special thanks to the Eastern Woodland Carvers Club for hosting the 2007 annual meeting, competition and seminars.  In addition to receiving and unpacking the competition entries, they made lodging arrangements, organized the open house, prepared the seminar lunches, and cleaned up the chips after the seminar….all at the EWCC’s three-story clubhouse in beautiful downtown Converse, Indiana. 
Watch for information about the 2008 Competition at the CCA web site HERE

Visit the 2007 Carving Competition Photo Gallary click HERE


Copyright 2008, All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission.