Catawba Valley Wood Carvers

Catawba Valley Wood Carvers

Hickory, North Carolina

We are a group of wood carving enthusiasts ranging from beginner carvers to those with over 40 years of experience!

CVWC Mission

The purpose of the CATAWBA VALLEY WOOD CARVERS CLUB is to promote an interest in wood carving for persons of all competence, whether they are beginners or advanced professionals.

Provide information, education, and hands-on experience for all members, and to encourage creativity and to explore new methods and techniques for advancing wood carving as a creative craft and as a unique art form.

We encourage membership in, and give support to the National Wood Carvers Association


Meetings are on the 3rd Saturday of the month, at the Hickory location of Klingspor's Woodworking Shop, located at 856 21st St Dr. SE Hickory.

The meetings are from 1 pm to 3 pm. After a short business session, a member or an invited guest presents a program. Members can bring projects they are working on or work on the "club project".

Members are encouraged to bring finished items for "show and tell". Refreshments are supplied by club volunteers.


Annual dues are $24 (January renewal)

Dues are $24 per calendar year, payable in January. If not paid by March you will be considered dropped from membership.

Any person at least fourteen years old, interested in wood carving or whittling, whether amateur or professional, may become a member.

Anyone younger than 14 can attend meetings, with an supervising adult.

New members pay a prorated amount ($2 a month) for each of the months remaining in the year.

Membership Benefits

Catawba Valley Wood Carvers Club Membership benefits include:

  • Support a statewide network of carvers and clubs
  • 10% discount at Klingspor’s Woodworking Shop (excluding power tools, wood, and a few limited items)
  • an opportunity for contact with other wood carvers
  • opportunities to advance your wood carving skills
  • educational programs and club activities
  • opportunities to exhibit your work and the fellowship of fellow woodcarvers

DUES Dues are $24 per calendar year, payable in January.

Contact Us

Email Us:

PO Box 1073, Hickory NC 28602



Saturday, October 26th
Show Hours 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Hickory Metro Center, 1960 13th Ave Drive SE Hickory, NC​

Entry Information

Set up and Registration:
Friday, October 25 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday, October 26 7:00 AM - 8:45 AM

Judging begins at 9 a.m. Saturday


Entry Fee is $20 per carver. Payable to CVWC at the time of registration. Check or cash only.

Youth Category 36 will not be charged an entry fee unless carvings are entered into other categories

Please complete the entry form prior to registration.


1. Entry form must be completed for all entries.

2. Up to five carvings per category except cat 35.

3. Entries must have been completed since 1/1/2021.

4. All entries must have been handcrafted by the person entering. Roughouts are permitted only in the roughout category.

5. Molded feet and glass eyes are permitted. Use of plastic, fabric, metallic additions, or any other non-carved item is not permitted. Non-wood materials are permitted on the base or habitat, provided they are handcrafted.

6. The CVWC reserves the right to refuse any entry deemed to be “not good taste, or offensive”.

7. Entries will be returned to the exhibitor at 4:00 p.m. on the day of the show.

8. Entries are submitted at the discretion and sole risk of the entrant. CVWC will not be financially responsible for loss or damage regardless of cause.

9. All entries must be hand-delivered.

10. The final placement of the entry into the proper category is at the discretion of the show referees.

11. The decisions of the judges are final.

12. The artist’s name shall be obscured with tape. However, you are encouraged to place name cards or business cards on your carvings after all judging is completed.

13. The Show Committee has the right to add, delete, or subdivide categories.

14. Realistic – Exactly proportioned carving in the round.

15. Stylized – Fully carved with careful deliberate, flowing, curved, and oval surfaces. Simplicity, beauty, and identification with minimal natural details. Realism is not the objective.

16. Caricature – imitation of a person or animal in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect. The subject must be carved in the round.

17. Habitat is not a category subject. Subjects that do not qualify within any category are considered habitat. Example: a dragonfly and a fish in a scene. The dragonfly does not qualify the carving as a group since there is no insect category.

18. No CVWC blue ribbon carvings can compete unless the carving is entered in a higher division than previously entered.

19. Group carvings are any combination of carvings within a category. Must be mounted on a single base. For judging purposes, the dominant subject will determine the category in which the multi-subject group will be placed.

20. CVWC has the final decision over any and all competition-related questions and placement.

21. Non-carved Pyrography can only be entered into Categories 32, 35, 36, and 1 (must be wood only). No Instructor assisted pyrography entries allowed!


1. Show Theme – “Sea Life”

2. Caricature up to 8” – (Excluding base) From bottom of feet to top of head. Single subject.

3. Caricature over 8” – (Excluding base) From bottom of feet to top of head. Single subject.

4. Animal Caricature – Any single subject or size.

5. Caricature Group – 2 or more subjects or any combination from categories 2 through 4. No roughouts permitted.

6. Caricature Busts – Any subject.

7. Roughout – Any subject(s), non-instructor-assisted carving carved from a roughout.

8. Bottle Stoppers – Any subject, must be affixed with a cork and displayed in a bottle.

9. Ornaments – Any subject, must be hanging on a stand that is made or purchased.

10. Santa’s – Full-bodied, caricature or realistic, any style.

11. Wood Spirits – Human-like faces carved on the surface of bark, limb, knot, etc.

12. Human Figure – Realistic, proportioned, man, woman, or child. Single or Group.

13. Human Busts – Realistic, proportioned head and partial shoulder of man, woman, or child.

14. Mythical / Fantasy – Any genre of myths, folktales, or imaginative fiction.

15. Songbirds – Realistic – e.g. Robin, Wren, Woodpecker, etc.

16. Ducks – Realistic – e.g. All Ducks, Geese, Swan, etc.

17. Gunning Decoy – Contemporary and “Antique Style” judged in hand.

18. Birds of Prey – Realistic – e.g. Hawk, Owl, Falcons, Eagles, etc.

19. Game Birds – Realistic – e.g. Dove, Turkey, Quail, etc.

20. Sea / Shorebirds – Realistic – Tern, Pelican, Gulls, Plovers, etc.


21. Feathered Groups – 2 or more subjects or any combination of categories 15 -20.

22. Animals – Realistic, proportioned, e.g. Deer, Rabbits, Dogs, Buffalo, (includes reptiles) etc.

23. Aquatic Animals – Realistic, proportioned, e.g. Fish, Sea Mammals, etc.

24. Animal Group – 2 or more subjects or any combination from categories 22 through 23.

25. Carved Found Wood – Wood found in its natural habitat e.g. driftwood, roots, limbs, stumps, knots, etc.

26. Stylized – Any subject that retains identity with minimal detail.

27. Cottonwood Bark – Any carving made exclusively from cottonwood bark (excludes base).

28. Walking Sticks / Canes – Any style, any subject.

29. Cypress Knee – Complete knee, any subject, any size. No inserts, attached or glued are allowed.

30. Chip Carving – Precise, regular, triangular, or wedge-shaped chips of wood to form engraved patterns.

31. Relief Carving – Dimensional images carved in the front of a flat surface or background

32. Pyrography – Divided into categories Wood (painted or natural), Leather, Gourds, Paper, Misc.

33. Miniature – Any style, any subject. Carving (including base) must fit inside a 2-inch cube.

34. Miscellaneous – Wood carvings not listed in any other category.

35. Swap – Any style, size, or subject, painted or natural.

36. Youth -This new category has been added to encourage young carvers to expand their skills by participating in organized competitions at a level appropriate for their age group. Age groups are 11 and under, 12 to 14, and 15 to 17. There will be no entry fee for youth contestants. (This Category Only).

37. IWCA Style Decoy Championship. Rules can be found at IWFCA.COM. Mail-ins must be received no later than Wednesday, October 23rd.


Please Note: Categories 15, 16, 18, 19, and 20 may be divided into Local and IWCA. IWCA Decorative Live Size Non-floating rules apply along with advancement points awarded for novice and intermediate. Must be an IWCA member for IWCA categories. Rules at IWFCA.COM

Every category except 1, 32, 34, 35, and IWCA categories will be divided as:

PAINTED – Any entry where a pigmented finish is applied to the wood grain. Paint or washes on any surface designates the carving as painted, e.g., stain or paint on the bill of a duck will be judged as “painted”

NATURAL – Any entry that is uniform in natural wood grain, Non-pigmented clear coats, or sealants is allowed.

Competition Divisions

You cannot enter a division lower than the highest one you previously entered in a competition.

NOVICE – Open to carvers who have been carving for less than five years and have not won Best of Novice, Best of Intermediate, or Best of Open at any carving competition. A carver who has won Best of Novice at any carving competition must enter carving(s) in the INTERMEDIATE or OPEN division.

INTERMEDIATE – Open to carvers who have not won Best of Intermediate or Best of Open at any carving competition. A carver who has won Best of Intermediate at any carving competition must enter carving(s) in the Open division.

OPEN – Open to carvers who want to compete at the highest level at this competition.


There will be great carvings at the raffle for $1 a ticket or 6 for $5, etc.

If any contestant attending the show would like to donate a small carving to our cause, we will gladly accept it. Just bring it to the show and give it to the folks at the raffle table during registration. The drawing will be about 2:30 PM on Saturday, 22nd. You do not have to be present to win as long as your name and phone number are written on the ticket. Winners are required to make arrangements to pick up their carving.


First, Second, Third, and Honorable Mention ribbons will be awarded in each category.

Best of Novice:
1st $75, 2nd $50, 3rd $25

Best of Intermediate:
1st $125, 2nd $100, 3rd $75

Best of Open:
1st $350, 2nd $250, 3rd $150

Special Prize Sponsored by

Klingspor's Woodworking Shop

Best of Show $500

Best of Show Theme (category 1)
Best of Open $75
Best of Intermediate $50
Best of Novice $25

Best of IWCA Style Decoy Championship
1st $300, 2nd $200, 3rd $100

SEPA Awards
Best of Pyrography Open $150
Best of Pyrography Intermediate
Best of Pyrography Novice

Club History

The club was founded in 1999

a group of sixteen (16) like minded individuals got together and started the Catawba Valley Woodcarvers Club.

The founding Charter Members were:

  • Bill Abernathy
  • Lewis Barlow (Deceased)
  • Brent Beal (Deceased)
  • Jim Bohn (Deceased)
  • Gerald "Steve" Carter (Deceased)
  • Tom Deyoung (Deceased)
  • Frank Freer
  • Richard Grant
  • Thurman Abernethy (Deceased)
  • Clare Mathis
  • Don McHugh
  • Mel Moose (Deceased)
  • Preston Pruitt
  • Elizabeth Thomas
  • Jessie Wilkinson (Deceased)
  • Dean Wright

Mel Moose Award Winners


2008 - Don McHugh
2009 - Tim Trudgeon
2010 - Dean Wright
2011 - Steve Carter|
2012 - Marshall Shook
2013 - Steve Robertson
2014 - Darlene Tarlton
2015 - Mickie Bouzon
2016 - Gerry Shaw
2017 - Tom E Mock
2018 - Richard H Grant
2019 - Alvin D Woody
2020 - COVID (no club meetings)
2021 - Michael Bennett
2022 - Dean Wright (2nd time)
2023 - Billy J Boston

Past Winners

2023 Mel Moose winner Billy J Boston  

2022 Mel Moose winner Dean Wright

2021 Mel Moose winner Mike Bennett