Wood is one of the most unique and striking materials we use for custom awards, but it is often overlooked. While many clients think about wood in terms of a material for their award bases, most don’t realize the flexibility and utility it offers as a material for the main sculpture component of their awards.
Wood provides a number of variables that can be manipulated to customize awards, including the ability to carve and construct an almost endless variety of shapes, the different types of wood that can be used for the awards, different staining and color painting options, and even the variations inherent in the grain of a particular type of wood. The variations in wood grains, in fact, can contribute to the uniqueness of each individual award, even within a singular award design and wood type combination.
Wood can also be accented with other materials, the most common being metal. The incorporation of metal bands or medallions in custom wood awards can create striking contrasts that emphasize different aspects of the award, as well as provide a platform for custom engraving.
Shown below are some examples of custom wood awards we have created. These can give you some starter ideas on potential custom wood awards for your own organization or event.
One example is the custom perpetual award we created for the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (LCPL) Roots Trophy. The LCPL is a professional cricket league based in the Caribbean, and the LCPL Roots Trophy was created to recognize each season’s champions. The wood used for the award is mahogany, a tree indigenous to the Caribbean. The design of the award consists of a set of hand-carved intertwined roots that echo the form of the West Indian Swamp Blood Tree, another indigenous tree. These roots gradually transform into 11 upraised arms and hands holding a cricket ball. This is great example of the award construction and wood choice matching, and reinforcing, key aspects of the award’s objectives.
Another example of a custom wood award is MasterCard Man of the Match awards we created for the Copa America 2015 soccer tournament. We worked collaboratively with the design firm SOBO Concepts (soboconcepts.com) to create a custom wood award design based on the Copa America 2015 logo. These unique awards are created in the shape of a disk, or circular shield, with a 15” diameter. The shields are handcrafted from Brazilian Mahogany. These shields use CNC milling to create recessed and raised areas within the surface of the shield that reflect key elements of the Copa America 2015 logo. The raised areas display the 4 human visuals used in the logo. These visuals are based on Chile folk culture, and represent Celebration, Passion, Surpass and Triumph. The recessed areas reveal the Copa America Chile 2015 text, along with other iconic design elements utilized in the logo’s visual identity. The recessed images in the shield are stained black (using an environmentally safe stain), creating a two-tone contrast with the remaining raised areas of natural wood. Again, this is another example of form and material matching design objectives.
An additional example is the custom wood award we created for Kantar Health: the Kantar Health Catalyst Award. These awards are constructed in the shape of a rectangular block. The block is composed of two materials: wood and pewter. The upper and lower blocks of the award are made from handcrafted Bocote Wood, an exotic wood from Mexico and Central America known for its unique grain. The band in the lower-middle of the award is made from cast pewter. Engraving is done both in the wood itself as well as the pewter band. This award is a great example of the beautiful and artistic effect that can be created by combining two contrasting materials into a single award.
A final example is the custom employee recognition awards we created for Origin Bank. These awards were composed of both wood and metal. The main components of the awards were handcrafted cedar blocks measuring 3.5" x 3.5" x 6". Each cedar block had unique grain and color variations, contributing to the uniqueness of each award. The wood sculpture blocks had laser engravings of the award name, recipient name, year of presentation, and the Origin Bank logo and logotype. Each cedar block was also ornamented with a 2.5" round cast pewter medallion designed like the Origin Bank logo. These medallions had a combo smooth / rough brushed pewter finish to accentuate the logo design.
As always, we would be happy to take a look at your custom award project, and let you know if wood is a good fit for your design!