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China, October 2014

Dongyang International Woodcarving Competition

Introduction:

In 2014 Terry was invited by the World Crafts Council to coordinate an international wood sculpture competition in the City of Dongyang, China. Terry felt it was important to find sculptors from as many countries as possible. After months of negotiations he finally produced a list of 38 sculptors. Twenty were from the host country China, including Taiwan. The other eighteen came from all around the world - Norway, South Africa, Ireland, Nepal, Argentina, Zambia, Japan, Sweden, Australia, France, Bhutan, Switzerland, Paraguay, the USA, Romania, Iceland, Ecuador and England. They were all given large blocks of wood and several days to complete individual sculptures. The logistics were a big challenge, but the artists all agreed that it was a wonderful experience.

 

Dongyang International Woodcarving Competition
The artists worked in large spaces in a major vocational school in Dongyang that has an important
woodcarving school. The noise, dust and energy levels were very high.

 

Silvio Apponyi
Terry’s good friend Silvio Apponyi quickly gained a devoted group of admirers
from among the students at the college. They came every day to watch him at work.
Silvio eventually was awarded second prize in the competition.

 

Students admiring the spoon gouges of Swedish artist Jorgen Melin 
The students were fascinated by the techniques and tools of the international carvers.
Here they are admiring the spoon gouges of Swedish artist Jorgen Melin.

 

Azwhimpheleli Gerson Magoro from South Africa 
The carvers also enjoyed watching each other work. Azwhimpheleli Gerson Magoro from South Africa
was a very dynamic worker who eventually took out third prize.

 

Kitazawa Hideta from Japan carved a traditional temple lion 
Kitazawa Hideta from Japan carved a traditional temple lion.
Usually he carves Noh Masks and said he had never carved anything this large before.
 

 

His lion was fearsome!
His lion was fearsome!

 

Zina Burloiu from Romania
Zina Burloiu, from Romania, also departed from her usual delicate work and used power tools
to create something larger than she had ever done before.

 

Carving Museum
Everyone had been promised that their work would be displayed in the new Carving Museum purpose-built
for the event. It is an extraordinary building that celebrates the history of woodcarving.

 

A beautiful dragon by Jon Steinolfson from Iceland
Unfortunately the wonderful work produced by the competitors was poorly
displayed in a trade hall with bad lighting.
Work such as this beautiful dragon
by Jon Steinolfson from Iceland deserved more respect.

First prize in the competition went to a Chinese carver who had been a student of a major sponsor
of the event. It was an embarrassing choice because he must have known that everyone
would believe it was given to him for the wrong reasons.

 

Five carvers from five different countries - Jorgen Melin (Sweden), Rune Hjelen (Norway), Kitazawa Hideta (Japan), Sanjay Penjor (Bhutan), Terry Martin (Australia)
The best part of the experience for everyone was meeting people who were from different lands,
but who shared a love for what they do. Here five carvers from five different countries stand in solidarity.
L – R: Jorgen Melin (Sweden), Rune Hjelen (Norway), Kitazawa Hideta (Japan),
Sanjay Penjor (Bhutan), Terry Martin (Australia).

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