Judging and Judges Critiques Sessions 

The judging for the AWC competiton is perhaps unique among major competitions.  The competition entries are judged each year by a team of judges who are considered quite advanced in their particular woodcarving field. The trio of judges is rotated yearly to keep the competition unpredictable and pure.  The judges typically spend two full days in judging the many entries in the AWC competition.

Chief among the special elements of Congress are the Judges' Critique sessions held during Congress Week.  Through the use of photos and conversation these sessions provide insight on what the judges look for during the competition. These Judges’ Critiques have proven to be one the most popular events held during Congress Week, and can be s valuable learning experience.

Judges also spend time on the competition showroom floor on Saturday and Sunday, and are typically available to discuss the judging results for particular enties.  If you have questions about a particular piece, feel free to seek out and chat with the judges.


1.  Originality And Design- Unusual and exceptional interpretations of the subject matter, true to life. Where applicable consider proportions, anatomy, balance and perspective, use of light and shadows, use of colors. Is the piece a copy of a roughout, seminar or class piece? Plagiarism will be dealt with seriously. Acknowledge any influence you used.

2.  Skilled Executions - Tight laminations, good carving techniques, properly fitted add-ons, such as objects in hands. Also The difficulty of the carving is considered. Was the intricate carving carved in one-piece with no add-ons?

3.  Surface Finish - Carefully executed sanding where applicable: removal of blemishes such as fuzz, application of finishes. Does the finish enhance the grain? Consider choice of color and application in relationship to overall work

4.  Final Representation - After reviewing of all of the above, take into consideration the decorative value and worthiness of The exhibit and the overall continuity and artistry of the presentation.