Pigeon Forge, TN (September 16, 2008)… Award-winning wood carver, Randal Martin will be among the master carvers competing at the Woodcarving Showcase and Competition, October 3-5 at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Martin and his wife, Zan, have recently built a home in the Smoky Mountain area and he is excited to participate in this unique show, which gives the park’s guests a chance to meet the carvers and examine their work up close. An avid bird enthusiast, Martin specializes in wildfowl carvings. The challenge for guests will be trying not to touch these amazingly intricate, lifelike creatures carved with painstaking attention to detail.
Randal Martin began to discover his talents early. “My parents tell me I have been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. With the reams of old papers, art pads and illustrations they still keep, I guess it must be true,” he says. “In the two dimensional realm, I enjoy all mediums: graphite, watercolor, oil, and acrylic. As an outdoor enthusiast and nature lover, I enjoy wildlife art, landscapes, and capturing both the pride and sorrow of the Native American Indian.”
His first foray into the three-dimensional realm was carving Meerschaum pipes. He later began working with clay, creating a series of Native American bronze busts. But after carving his first bird from wood, he knew he had found his real passion. “I typically have four or five carvings going at once, and as they come to life, I can’t wait to begin another,” says Martin. “There has been more demand for wildfowl woodcarvings than any other form of my art. While I enjoy the reactions of those who purchase my work, I would keep on carving, whether I had buyers or not.”
There has been no shortage of interest in his work as indicated by the many awards and commissions he has received. The first songbird he ever carved won Best of Show and First Place at the Tennessee Valley Fair in Knoxville in 2001 and he won the Silver Brush Award at the Tullahoma Fine Arts Festival in 2002. In fact, he has received ribbons and awards for every carving he has ever entered in a competition in the years since he focused on wood as his primary artistic medium. Martin feels that his greatest honor to date was being selected to carve a bluebird ornament for the nation’s White House Christmas tree for an ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ seasonal theme. He and his wife were invited to attend the unveiling at the White House. Upon learning Martin has only been carving for seven years, many master carvers who have judged the Ward World Championship carving show have been astounded, and commented that his work shows craftsmanship indicative of someone carving for several decades.
Other notable achievements include an album cover painting for The Charlie Daniels Band “Road Dogs” album, and the cover illustration for a Merle Haggard Christmas album. He was commissioned to carve a red-tailed hawk for country music artist/TV actor Billy Ray Cyrus, and to create an original illustration of country music great Earl Scruggs’ likeness on “The Earl” banjos for Gibson Bluegrass Guitars, one of which was on display for months at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Nashville, TN.
Locally, Martin was chosen as a carving associate for The Cliff Dwellers Art Gallery in Gatlinburg, TN in 2005. In 2006 he was commissioned by the Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville, TN, to carve an Ivory Billed Woodpecker as the focal point for a new interactive Visitor Center habitat.
Martin’s talent has even been recognized internationally with commissions from around the globe. An intricate hummingbird carving was purchased in 2006 and presented to the vice-president of Nippon Telephone and Telegraph Company (NTT), the single largest corporation in Japan.
Randal Martin’s wildfowl woodcarvings will be on display at Dollywood’s 17th annual Woodcarving Showcase and Competition October 3rd through 5th. See demonstrations by master carvers daily as they showcase this unique art form with a variety of carving styles. Each day features a special carving event including whittling contests and the Great Pumpkin Carving Competition.
To view Martin’s carvings, visit http://www.wood-feathers.com/
The logos/Images shown below are available for press use only. Click on the thumbnail(s) below to retrieve the high res version(s). If you have questions or comments concerning these images, please contact Martin & Company at 615/876-1822.
PRESS RELEASE SPECIFIC IMAGES:
IJAMS Ivory-Billed Woodpecker
Broad Tailed Hummingbird
Zan Martin, Laura Bush & Randal Martin at the White House
Billy Ray Cyrus and Randal Martin