December 16, 2014

Down to the wire: Dr. Mina Katchooi wins Orthodontics sculpture contest

The Water Lily, by Dr. Mina Katchooi

The Water Lily, by Dr. Mina Katchooi

Dr. Mina Katchooi, who fashioned an elegant tableau featuring a water lily and hovering dragonfly, has won top honors in the School of Dentistry’s annual Department of Orthodontics wire sculpture contest for first-year residents.

Dr. Derek Hou came in second in the popular vote by faculty, staff and students with his entry depicting Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Other finalists were Drs. Fedora Katz, Sheah Han Soh and Kelly Weikert.

“Rising above the water to extract energy from the sun, the water lily is a reminder that perseverance will lead to reawakening,” read a small metal plaque accompanying Dr. Katchooi’s entry.

Rudolph’s Big Day, by Dr. Derek Hou

Rudolph’s Big Day, by Dr. Derek Hou

For the contest, which began in 1966, entrants must use predominantly orthodontic materials, such as wire, rubber bands and dental acrylic. Sculptures are judged for esthetic quality, innovative design and technical competence.

Previous contestants have submitted creations including an aquarium with wire decorations and live fish, the Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, a winged dragon and the head of the ancient Egyptian queen Nefertiti.

The contest was inspired by the late Dr. Ben Moffett, who spent three decades as a department faculty member. After taking a UW art class in form and function, he thought it would be helpful to have someone give weekly lectures on the subject at the School of Dentistry. Strong interest in the topic eventually led to the creation of the contest.

Take Me to the Sea, by Dr. Fedora Katz The Tree of Hope, by Dr. Sheah Han SohWild Mustang, by Dr. Kelly Weikert

Take Me to the Sea, by Dr. Fedora Katz, The Tree of Hope, by Dr. Sheah Han Soh, and Wild Mustang, by Dr. Kelly Weikert