I was fortunate to be able to participate in Nasjonal Mesterskapet (NM Skole), the Norwegian national competition program (for schools, in this case). 2017 was the inaugural year for an NM woodcarving competition. Normally an American would not be able to participate in a Norwegian championship, but as a student of Hjerleid I was allowed. Hjerleid is the only remaining woodcarving school in Norway, so all of the competitors came from this year's class.
I was doubly blessed with winning this competition, becoming the first Norwegian "mester" (master) in woodcarving! I chose to work in Norwegian dragon style, while my competitors worked in Norwegian baroque acanthus.