Artisan Awards Bring to Life the Legacy of the American Birkebeiner Events
Hayward, Wis. (February 12, 2020) – The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) is excited to reveal the 2020 overall champion awards which will be awarded to the top three male and female winners in the Slumberland American Birkebeiner (male/female, skate/classic), the Kortelopet (male/female, skate/classic) and Prince Haakon (top three overall winners) during podium ceremonies next week.
The 2020 event awards are unique, handcrafted recreations of the iconic warrior image associated with the legacy of the American Birkebeiner race. While pictured as one award, the award is actually two parts that come together to form the full warrior image; one half is the men’s award and the other half is the women’s award. The awards were designed and created by John Hallett, of Hallett Iron Works, LLC. A long-time Birkie skier himself, Hallett’s awards truly embody the Birkie spirit.
“John is truly an artist and we’re thrilled that he both designed and created the 2020 awards,” said Ben Popp, ABSF Executive Director. “John had a vision and the end result is truly incredible. We can’t wait to award them to the champions during Birkie Week!”
All of the awards were handcrafted from pewter and electroplated with brass to give them the golden color. John sculpted them in oil clay and used a router to engrave the titles before making molds and casting them. After electroplating them with brass, a brown and black patina was applied to the warriors and the rims were polished to give them a mirror finish. The photo above shows the end result. Each piece is signed by the artist; they are truly pieces of art.
“I am especially honored to be chosen to create the awards for the American Birkebeiner ski races,” says John Hallett. “I love sculpting things I am passionate about and as a Birkie Birchlegger (20+ Birkie race skier), I am truly passionate about skiing the Birkie.”
In addition to achieving Birkie Birchlegger status and being an avid cross-country skier, Hallet has also been active in Lumberjack sports for over 40-years. After being involved in casting and fabricating jewelry for many years, John decided to revive his great, great grandfather’s original Hallett Iron Works business, which was founded in 1853 in Chicago, IL, to make bronze and cast-iron sculptures. Hallet has created awards for other events including the Lumberjack World Championships and Stihl Timbersports, to name a few. John is also a small animal veterinarian in Oconomowoc, WI.