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Some thoughts on this judging question

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  • James Winkler
    I ve followed this thread with a lot of interest. As a past Kingdom MOAS I ve been in the position of having been both a participant with similar
    Message 1 of 18 , Sep 5, 2007
      I've followed this thread with a lot of interest.  As a past Kingdom MOAS I've been in the position of having been both a participant with similar frustrations... and being in a position to try my hand at "doing something about it"...
       
      Let me share a few thoughts:
       
      1:  No process will serve everybody equally.   Some prefer the rewards that a populace vote give them... some prefer the pot-luck semi-wise review of judges in a more formal setting... and some would only be truly satisfied if Roy Underwood and Norm Abrams set down and critically reviewed their work (ummm.... guilty....).
       
      2:  Any process installed would be flawed... at least to somebody.
       
      3:  Any process installed would fail to accommodate the strengths/weaknesses of a sizable portion of the participants.
       
      4:  All judges are jerks... just ask the entrants.  (Ok... the exception is the one from the former East Germany who gave me a perfect score...)
       
      The *closest* I could come to *doing something* about the system here in the Middle was to institute "face-to-face" judging...  I figured that if you're really that good at what you do most of the judges who would be evaluating your stuff probably already know who's stuff they're going to be looking at anyway... and if they don't... well...  in a series of about 3 questions MOST of us can probably tell whether the people we're talking to have a clue about their craft or not...  so we hoped to discourage the *I can judge anything* types from wandering too far afield.
       
      This is NOT a perfect solution.  The biggest flaw is that when the ol' A&S faire comes around you have to assign judges based on who happens to be in the room.   If you have 3 weavers, a half a dozen cooks, 10 middle eastern musicians and a potter...   Well...  somebody entering a reproduction of a medieval choir stall might end up a little short in the *expert judge* category.
       
      Populace votes are great for getting *atta-boys*... and I don't have anything against em'...  if that's what you're after and, truth be told, we all are to some degree.  But the commentary isn't really any more useful than what you get from your run of the mill judge.
       
      Now *IF I HAD THE POWER TO MAKE THE WORLD RIGHT*...  I'd set up something along the lines of the *juried review* process.   There would be a panel of the best skilled around who are willing to judge... and they would see EVERY piece in the category or area they would serve as jury on.   Commentary would not only be given with regard to technical skill... but the pieces would be ranked based on the complexity of the scope of the project, the skill with which the project was executed (fit and finish)...  and, perhaps... the craftsman's success at a Q and A on the historic significance and positioning of the project.  Because all pieces would face the same jury... some degree of equity in commentary might be assumed. 
       
      Of course... while this system might make me as happy as a clam... I'm figuring that it will fall short with at least 50% of the folks on this list... and possibly even a greater percentage of the general populace.
       
      However...  the FLAW in this process is that there is a fundamental assumption that one could form a competent jury who would be willing to give up their time and energies on certain day/s and that the entrants would also be willing to gather on those same day/s...   Of course... this is the fundamental flaw in most any system we have... they are inherently based on the utilization of a random set of available resources.
       
      There are some other problems with it... while it solves *some* of the problems with the existing system... it creates others....  and, of course, there is nothing that guarantees that even a hand-picked jury will have the expertise to wisely judge the potential range of projects that are inspired by nearly 1000 years of history around the vast majority of the globe...
       
      ... ain't no perfect solution...   but it is an eternally interesting topic...
       
      Chas.
    • Tracy Swanson
      It is true that you cannot please everyone, but there is another possible solution: What if the person in charge of A&S at a given event were to pre-arrange
      Message 2 of 18 , Sep 5, 2007
        It is true that you cannot please everyone, but there is another possible solution:
         
        What if the person in charge of A&S at a given event were to pre-arrange the judges and restrict the competition to the areas of the judge's expertise? Admittedly it would take more planning on the part of the A&S-o-crat, but at least those who entered would be assured of being judged by someone who knows more than a little something about the subject. Perhaps such competitions could and should be part of the King's College? At least at that event there would be a higher than usual number of "experts".
         
        Just a thought...
         
        In Magical Service,
        Malaki
      • Siegfried
        IMO, Having your work judged, and judging work, are important parts of learning and growing . However, people need to take things with a grain of salt.
        Message 3 of 18 , Sep 6, 2007
          IMO, Having your work judged, and judging work, are important parts of 'learning and growing'.

          However, people need to take things with a grain of salt.  Judging by it's nature is not like 'grading a test in school'.  Where every question has a wrong or right answer, and if you do good you get a 100%.

          Each judge, even if 'perfect judges', will have their own things that they are looking for, and/or that they care about more.

          As an entrant, you need to listen to all of the data that a judge gives you ... weigh it against what other judges have said ... and form a general picture in your mind of "Hrmmm, maybe I should be improving this".

          A good example ... I recently entered one of my Crossbows in a competition ... (specifically a competition designed for SCA merchants to enter) ...

          One judge focused on some lack in my documentation ...  of the # of the crossbow, the "# compared to SCA legallity, the FPS, how far it can shoot, etc.

          Another judge focused on a lack in my documentation ...  of the exact methods I used (Did I sand or did I scrape ... handtools or power tools ... etc)

          Another judge instead didn't mention any issues with documentation, he loved it.  But took a number of points off for authenticity, because I had used some non-period woods (bloodwood)  (Which, was done, because my customer wanted it ... which IMO, shouldn't then detract from within a 'merchant' competition, but I digress)

          (One of the three also didn't like my presentation)

          The point is, that every judge had a different aspect that they 'disliked', while liking what the other judges had an issue with.

          That's par for the course.   In the end, I walked away very happy.  I had gotten some interesting and therefore valuable feedback.  I also knew, from looking at the scoresheets, that HAD I put hours of work into my 'presentation', and bulked up my 5 pages of documentation into 7 to include these other facts ... that I probably would have won.

          Overall, I entered, I got feedback, I was happy, life was good.

          I do a fair bit of brewing competitions, and the same thing happens there (potentially even more so, because no matter how well someone trains their palate, there are always personal biases).   I've had the same batch of mead, score anywhere from a 97 to an 80, based upon who was judging it & by what standards.   I had a beer that scored a 100 in IKBG competition, that when taken to a local competition only got something in the high 80's, etc.   It's the nature of the beast.

          You accept any feedback you can ... you move on.

          Siegfried


          On 9/6/07, James Winkler <jrwinkler@... > wrote:
          I've followed this thread with a lot of interest.  As a past Kingdom MOAS I've been in the position of having been both a participant with similar frustrations... and being in a position to try my hand at "doing something about it"...
           
          Let me share a few thoughts:
           
          1:  No process will serve everybody equally.   Some prefer the rewards that a populace vote give them... some prefer the pot-luck semi-wise review of judges in a more formal setting... and some would only be truly satisfied if Roy Underwood and Norm Abrams set down and critically reviewed their work (ummm.... guilty....).
           
          2:  Any process installed would be flawed... at least to somebody.
           
          3:  Any process installed would fail to accommodate the strengths/weaknesses of a sizable portion of the participants.
           
          4:  All judges are jerks... just ask the entrants.  (Ok... the exception is the one from the former East Germany who gave me a perfect score...)
           
          The *closest* I could come to *doing something* about the system here in the Middle was to institute "face-to-face" judging...  I figured that if you're really that good at what you do most of the judges who would be evaluating your stuff probably already know who's stuff they're going to be looking at anyway... and if they don't... well...  in a series of about 3 questions MOST of us can probably tell whether the people we're talking to have a clue about their craft or not...  so we hoped to discourage the *I can judge anything* types from wandering too far afield.
           
          This is NOT a perfect solution.  The biggest flaw is that when the ol' A&S faire comes around you have to assign judges based on who happens to be in the room.   If you have 3 weavers, a half a dozen cooks, 10 middle eastern musicians and a potter...   Well...  somebody entering a reproduction of a medieval choir stall might end up a little short in the *expert judge* category.
           
          Populace votes are great for getting *atta-boys*... and I don't have anything against em'...  if that's what you're after and, truth be told, we all are to some degree.  But the commentary isn't really any more useful than what you get from your run of the mill judge.
           
          Now *IF I HAD THE POWER TO MAKE THE WORLD RIGHT*...  I'd set up something along the lines of the *juried review* process.   There would be a panel of the best skilled around who are willing to judge... and they would see EVERY piece in the category or area they would serve as jury on.   Commentary would not only be given with regard to technical skill... but the pieces would be ranked based on the complexity of the scope of the project, the skill with which the project was executed (fit and finish)...  and, perhaps... the craftsman's success at a Q and A on the historic significance and positioning of the project.  Because all pieces would face the same jury... some degree of equity in commentary might be assumed. 
           
          Of course... while this system might make me as happy as a clam... I'm figuring that it will fall short with at least 50% of the folks on this list... and possibly even a greater percentage of the general populace.
           
          However...  the FLAW in this process is that there is a fundamental assumption that one could form a competent jury who would be willing to give up their time and energies on certain day/s and that the entrants would also be willing to gather on those same day/s...   Of course... this is the fundamental flaw in most any system we have... they are inherently based on the utilization of a random set of available resources.
           
          There are some other problems with it... while it solves *some* of the problems with the existing system... it creates others....  and, of course, there is nothing that guarantees that even a hand-picked jury will have the expertise to wisely judge the potential range of projects that are inspired by nearly 1000 years of history around the vast majority of the globe...
           
          ... ain't no perfect solution...   but it is an eternally interesting topic...
           
          Chas.



          --
          ________________________________________________________
            Siegfried Sebastian Faust  -  http://crossbows.biz/
             Barony of Highland Foorde  -  Kingdom of Atlantia
                      Society Combat Archery Marshal
        • James Winkler
          In theory this would be the ideal situation I suppose. But the more planning on the part of the thing is kind of an understatement. It would take a LOT of
          Message 4 of 18 , Sep 6, 2007
            In theory this would be the ideal situation I suppose.  But the "more planning on the part of the" thing is kind of an understatement.   It would take a LOT of work...  and e-mails... and phone calls... all with the proviso that there might still be a shortage of "follow through" on the parts of either the artisan or the judges.  (I've had to seek out
            subject area specialists on occasion...  it's not as easy to gather them up as you might think...  trying to get 3 judges and an entry into the same space/time can be a challenge...)
             
            One of the SCA's greatest strengths is the fact that it is so diverse...  lots of things with lots of interests.  Unfortunately, that can also become one of its greatest weaknesses when a participant ceases to be a generalist and starts to focus their abilities and studies in a specific direction. 
             
            I've often felt that "the colleges" were great for both introductions to an art and for social activities... but, like an overview course in a real college... they're generally not particularly deep in any one area.  It's a general venue for general activities.
             
            Perhaps what is needed is more "specialty events"...  A&S specifically aimed at a narrow art area... kind of like the Costuming Symposiums.  Focusing on a narrower skill area has the potential of attracting the critical mass of participants that would give such a venue a fighting chance...   no guarantees (... we are, after all, a "volunteer" organization...)...  but it's a thought. 
             
            In such an environment it might also make it worth the time of the *experts* to show up... 
             
            Chas.
             
            ==========================
             
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:47 AM
            Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Some thoughts on this judging question

            It is true that you cannot please everyone, but there is another possible solution:
             
            What if the person in charge of A&S at a given event were to pre-arrange the judges and restrict the competition to the areas of the judge's expertise? Admittedly it would take more planning on the part of the A&S-o-crat, but at least those who entered would be assured of being judged by someone who knows more than a little something about the subject. Perhaps such competitions could and should be part of the King's College? At least at that event there would be a higher than usual number of "experts".
             
            Just a thought...
             
            In Magical Service,
            Malaki

          • James Winkler
            Sigfried wrote: You accept any feedback you can ... you move on. SO true... Yea... when you think about it, we each spend some time making our own decisions
            Message 5 of 18 , Sep 6, 2007
              Sigfried wrote: "You accept any feedback you can ... you move on."
               
              SO true...
               
              Yea...  when you think about it, we each spend some time making our own decisions about, tools, technique, design, wood choice, construction methodology, finish... and a thousand other details associated with our projects.  
               
              We ask questions of others on the way... but we filter out the *wise council* we receive based on our own preference bias, trust we have in the guy who gave us the *wise council* and ability to actually comprehend what, if any, value was contained in the *wise council*...   But... in the end... the final product is a reflection of our own choices regardless of how loud or quiet the voices out there are...   so... why should public comment on our projects suddenly have such weight???
               
              I have rarely ever met an entrant that hadn't already judged their own piece and had a pretty good idea of whether it was worth a tinker's dam or not.  The thing that most serious artisans are looking for... and often failing to find..  is not actually the atta-boy pat on the back... but a learning experience complete with handy tips that will help them improve their work and add to the *wow* factor of both their knowledge and skill...   unfortunately... unless you get REALLY LUCKY the odds of finding somebody who knows your specific project and vision as well as you do is pretty slim... and, in the end, your own honesty with yourself is the best council you'll ever receive...
               
              Chas.
               

               
            • Rebekah d'Avignon
              It s beginning to sound like the story of the six blind men and the elephant. They all saw the same thing and they all saw something different. Siegfried
              Message 6 of 18 , Sep 6, 2007
                It's beginning to sound like the story of the six blind men and the elephant. They all "saw" the same thing and they all saw something different.

                Siegfried <SiegfriedFaust@...> wrote:
                IMO, Having your work judged, and judging work, are important parts of 'learning and growing'.

                However, people need to take things with a grain of salt.  Judging by it's nature is not like 'grading a test in school'.  Where every question has a wrong or right answer, and if you do good you get a 100%.

                Each judge, even if 'perfect judges', will have their own things that they are looking for, and/or that they care about more.

                As an entrant, you need to listen to all of the data that a judge gives you ... weigh it against what other judges have said ... and form a general picture in your mind of "Hrmmm, maybe I should be improving this".

                A good example ... I recently entered one of my Crossbows in a competition ... (specifically a competition designed for SCA merchants to enter) ...

                One judge focused on some lack in my documentation ...  of the # of the crossbow, the "# compared to SCA legallity, the FPS, how far it can shoot, etc.

                Another judge focused on a lack in my documentation ...  of the exact methods I used (Did I sand or did I scrape ... handtools or power tools ... etc)

                Another judge instead didn't mention any issues with documentation, he loved it.  But took a number of points off for authenticity, because I had used some non-period woods (bloodwood)  (Which, was done, because my customer wanted it ... which IMO, shouldn't then detract from within a 'merchant' competition, but I digress)

                (One of the three also didn't like my presentation)

                The point is, that every judge had a different aspect that they 'disliked', while liking what the other judges had an issue with.

                That's par for the course.   In the end, I walked away very happy.  I had gotten some interesting and therefore valuable feedback.  I also knew, from looking at the scoresheets, that HAD I put hours of work into my 'presentation', and bulked up my 5 pages of documentation into 7 to include these other facts ... that I probably would have won.

                Overall, I entered, I got feedback, I was happy, life was good.

                I do a fair bit of brewing competitions, and the same thing happens there (potentially even more so, because no matter how well someone trains their palate, there are always personal biases).   I've had the same batch of mead, score anywhere from a 97 to an 80, based upon who was judging it & by what standards.   I had a beer that scored a 100 in IKBG competition, that when taken to a local competition only got something in the high 80's, etc.   It's the nature of the beast.

                You accept any feedback you can ... you move on.

                Siegfried
                .




                A great deal of society's problems are caused by people "enforcing their rights" rather than "doing what's right".


                Yahoo! oneSearch: Finally, mobile search that gives answers, not web links.

              • Kristine Elliott
                I agree that I can t see it working out particularly well in realy life, despite any amount of prior organization, good will and good intentions. Even if it
                Message 7 of 18 , Sep 6, 2007

                  I agree that I can't see it working out particularly well in realy life, despite any amount of prior organization, good will and good intentions. Even if it happened, I can see people for whose categories of art did not have a dedicated corps of judges being annoyed that "their" category was not included, particularly if that restricted A&S competition took the place of what had been an every category A&S competition.

                  In East, they have been playing around with concepts like "Body of work" competitions and "Laurel Challenge" competitions, as well as populace choice and judged competitions. The Body of Work competitions are very cool to view. In the Laurel Challenge competitions, the entries are judged by the Laurel whose challenge it is; some are very specific to the area of the Laurel, others are things like, "Make a tool and use it."

                  When I was in Trimaris, we had a situation arise again and again that at Kingdom A&S competitions all of the Laurels were in the hall judging all day and the entrants and populace were teaching and attending classes. It just wasn't working well, as we hated the missed opportunities to teach and attend classes ourselves. I don't know how they solved it or even if they solved it (I moved), but everyone was pretty unhappy about the situation.

                  Personally, I am not into competition, and prefer displays to judged competitions. Regardless, at many competitions here, populace members are encouraged to leave tokens and notes for items they are impressed by; I think a lot of artisans keep those for encouragement on bad days.

                  Scolastica


                  On 9/6/07, James Winkler <jrwinkler@...> wrote:
                  In theory this would be the ideal situation I suppose.  But the "more planning on the part of the" thing is kind of an understatement.   It would take a LOT of work...  and e-mails... and phone calls... all with the proviso that there might still be a shortage of "follow through" on the parts of either the artisan or the judges.  (I've had to seek out
                  subject area specialists on occasion...  it's not as easy to gather them up as you might think...  trying to get 3 judges and an entry into the same space/time can be a challenge...)
                   
                  One of the SCA's greatest strengths is the fact that it is so diverse...  lots of things with lots of interests.  Unfortunately, that can also become one of its greatest weaknesses when a participant ceases to be a generalist and starts to focus their abilities and studies in a specific direction. 
                   
                  I've often felt that "the colleges" were great for both introductions to an art and for social activities... but, like an overview course in a real college... they're generally not particularly deep in any one area.  It's a general venue for general activities.
                   
                  Perhaps what is needed is more "specialty events"...  A&S specifically aimed at a narrow art area... kind of like the Costuming Symposiums.  Focusing on a narrower skill area has the potential of attracting the critical mass of participants that would give such a venue a fighting chance...   no guarantees (... we are, after all, a "volunteer" organization...)...  but it's a thought. 
                   
                  In such an environment it might also make it worth the time of the *experts* to show up... 
                   
                  Chas.
                   
                  ==========================
                   
                   
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:47 AM
                  Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Some thoughts on this judging question

                  It is true that you cannot please everyone, but there is another possible solution:
                   
                  What if the person in charge of A&S at a given event were to pre-arrange the judges and restrict the competition to the areas of the judge's expertise? Admittedly it would take more planning on the part of the A&S-o-crat, but at least those who entered would be assured of being judged by someone who knows more than a little something about the subject. Perhaps such competitions could and should be part of the King's College? At least at that event there would be a higher than usual number of "experts".
                   
                  Just a thought...
                   
                  In Magical Service,
                  Malaki




                  --
                  http://www.geocities.com/souriete/

                  If you can't get rid of them ugly old skeletons in the closet, at least teach
                  'em how to dance funny.  Billy C. Wirtz
                • Bill McNutt
                  How do you do that? Fairecrats in Meridies are always beating the bushes for judges in advance, yet still have to fill categories right up until the last
                  Message 8 of 18 , Sep 6, 2007

                    How do you do that?  Fairecrats in Meridies are always beating the bushes for judges in advance, yet still have to fill categories right up until the last moment.

                     

                    Will

                     


                    From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tracy Swanson
                    Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 1:48 AM
                    To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Some thoughts on this judging question

                     

                    It is true that you cannot please everyone, but there is another possible solution:

                     

                    What if the person in charge of A&S at a given event were to pre-arrange the judges and restrict the competition to the areas of the judge's expertise? Admittedly it would take more planning on the part of the A&S-o-crat, but at least those who entered would be assured of being judged by someone who knows more than a little something about the subject. Perhaps such competitions could and should be part of the King's College? At least at that event there would be a higher than usual number of "experts".

                     

                    Just a thought...

                     

                    In Magical Service,

                    Malaki

                  • Bill McNutt
                    I LIKE competition. Will _____ From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kristine Elliott Sent: Thursday,
                    Message 9 of 18 , Sep 6, 2007

                      I LIKE competition.

                       

                      Will


                      From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kristine Elliott
                      Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:28 PM
                      To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Some thoughts on this judging question

                       

                      I agree that I can't see it working out particularly well in realy life, despite any amount of prior organization, good will and good intentions. Even if it happened, I can see people for whose categories of art did not have a dedicated corps of judges being annoyed that "their" category was not included, particularly if that restricted A&S competition took the place of what had been an every category A&S competition.

                      In East, they have been playing around with concepts like "Body of work" competitions and "Laurel Challenge" competitions, as well as populace choice and judged competitions. The Body of Work competitions are very cool to view. In the Laurel Challenge competitions, the entries are judged by the Laurel whose challenge it is; some are very specific to the area of the Laurel , others are things like, "Make a tool and use it."

                      When I was in Trimaris, we had a situation arise again and again that at Kingdom A&S competitions all of the Laurels were in the hall judging all day and the entrants and populace were teaching and attending classes. It just wasn't working well, as we hated the missed opportunities to teach and attend classes ourselves. I don't know how they solved it or even if they solved it (I moved), but everyone was pretty unhappy about the situation.

                      Personally, I am not into competition, and prefer displays to judged competitions. Regardless, at many competitions here, populace members are encouraged to leave tokens and notes for items they are impressed by; I think a lot of artisans keep those for encouragement on bad days.

                      Scolastica

                       

                      On 9/6/07, James Winkler <jrwinkler@msn. com> wrote:

                      In theory this would be the ideal situation I suppose.  But the "more planning on the part of the" thing is kind of an understatement.   It would take a LOT of work...  and e-mails... and phone calls... all with the proviso that there might still be a shortage of "follow through" on the parts of either the artisan or the judges.  (I've had to seek out

                      subject area specialists on occasion...  it's not as easy to gather them up as you might think...  trying to get 3 judges and an entry into the same space/time can be a challenge... )

                       

                      One of the SCA's greatest strengths is the fact that it is so diverse...  lots of things with lots of interests.  Unfortunately, that can also become one of its greatest weaknesses when a participant ceases to be a generalist and starts to focus their abilities and studies in a specific direction. 

                       

                      I've often felt that "the colleges" were great for both introductions to an art and for social activities.. . but, like an overview course in a real college... they're generally not particularly deep in any one area.  It's a general venue for general activities.

                       

                      Perhaps what is needed is more "specialty events"...  A&S specifically aimed at a narrow art area... kind of like the Costuming Symposiums.  Focusing on a narrower skill area has the potential of attracting the critical mass of participants that would give such a venue a fighting chance...   no guarantees (... we are, after all, a "volunteer" organization. ..)...  but it's a thought. 

                       

                      In such an environment it might also make it worth the time of the *experts* to show up... 

                       

                      Chas.

                       

                      ============ ========= =====

                       

                       

                      ----- Original Message -----

                      Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:47 AM

                      Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Some thoughts on this judging question

                       

                      It is true that you cannot please everyone, but there is another possible solution:

                       

                      What if the person in charge of A&S at a given event were to pre-arrange the judges and restrict the competition to the areas of the judge's expertise? Admittedly it would take more planning on the part of the A&S-o-crat, but at least those who entered would be assured of being judged by someone who knows more than a little something about the subject. Perhaps such competitions could and should be part of the King's College? At least at that event there would be a higher than usual number of "experts".

                       

                      Just a thought...

                       

                      In Magical Service,

                      Malaki




                      --
                      http://www.geocitie s.com/souriete/

                      If you can't get rid of them ugly old skeletons in the closet, at least teach
                      'em how to dance funny.  Billy C. Wirtz

                    • Kristine Elliott
                      There s nothing wrong with that. Some people like competition, some don t. I was just sharing my observations of having been in the SCA for 24 years and being
                      Message 10 of 18 , Sep 6, 2007

                        There's nothing wrong with that. Some people like competition, some don't.


                        I was just sharing my observations of having been in the SCA for 24 years and being involved in A&S competitions directly or indirectly most of that time. I mentioned my personal preference because it might have influenced my take on my observations.

                        Scolastica



                        On 9/6/07, Bill McNutt <mcnutt@...> wrote:

                        I LIKE competition.

                         

                        Will


                        From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kristine Elliott
                        Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:28 PM
                        To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Some thoughts on this judging question

                         

                        I agree that I can't see it working out particularly well in realy life, despite any amount of prior organization, good will and good intentions. Even if it happened, I can see people for whose categories of art did not have a dedicated corps of judges being annoyed that "their" category was not included, particularly if that restricted A&S competition took the place of what had been an every category A&S competition.

                        In East, they have been playing around with concepts like "Body of work" competitions and "Laurel Challenge" competitions, as well as populace choice and judged competitions. The Body of Work competitions are very cool to view. In the Laurel Challenge competitions, the entries are judged by the Laurel whose challenge it is; some are very specific to the area of the Laurel, others are things like, "Make a tool and use it."

                        When I was in Trimaris, we had a situation arise again and again that at Kingdom A&S competitions all of the Laurels were in the hall judging all day and the entrants and populace were teaching and attending classes. It just wasn't working well, as we hated the missed opportunities to teach and attend classes ourselves. I don't know how they solved it or even if they solved it (I moved), but everyone was pretty unhappy about the situation.

                        Personally, I am not into competition, and prefer displays to judged competitions. Regardless, at many competitions here, populace members are encouraged to leave tokens and notes for items they are impressed by; I think a lot of artisans keep those for encouragement on bad days.

                        Scolastica

                         

                        On 9/6/07, James Winkler <jrwinkler@...> wrote:

                        In theory this would be the ideal situation I suppose.  But the "more planning on the part of the" thing is kind of an understatement.   It would take a LOT of work...  and e-mails... and phone calls... all with the proviso that there might still be a shortage of "follow through" on the parts of either the artisan or the judges.  (I've had to seek out

                        subject area specialists on occasion...  it's not as easy to gather them up as you might think...  trying to get 3 judges and an entry into the same space/time can be a challenge...)

                         

                        One of the SCA's greatest strengths is the fact that it is so diverse...  lots of things with lots of interests.  Unfortunately, that can also become one of its greatest weaknesses when a participant ceases to be a generalist and starts to focus their abilities and studies in a specific direction. 

                         

                        I've often felt that "the colleges" were great for both introductions to an art and for social activities... but, like an overview course in a real college... they're generally not particularly deep in any one area.  It's a general venue for general activities.

                         

                        Perhaps what is needed is more "specialty events"...  A&S specifically aimed at a narrow art area... kind of like the Costuming Symposiums.  Focusing on a narrower skill area has the potential of attracting the critical mass of participants that would give such a venue a fighting chance...   no guarantees (... we are, after all, a "volunteer" organization...)...  but it's a thought. 

                         

                        In such an environment it might also make it worth the time of the *experts* to show up... 

                         

                        Chas.

                         

                        ==========================

                         

                         

                        ----- Original Message -----

                        Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:47 AM

                        Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Some thoughts on this judging question

                         

                        It is true that you cannot please everyone, but there is another possible solution:

                         

                        What if the person in charge of A&S at a given event were to pre-arrange the judges and restrict the competition to the areas of the judge's expertise? Admittedly it would take more planning on the part of the A&S-o-crat, but at least those who entered would be assured of being judged by someone who knows more than a little something about the subject. Perhaps such competitions could and should be part of the King's College? At least at that event there would be a higher than usual number of "experts".

                         

                        Just a thought...

                         

                        In Magical Service,

                        Malaki

                      • Flemish Lady
                        ... Yeah, but that s just you. There are lots of folks who put stuff in A&S competitions because their peer told them to, they just want it to be seen,
                        Message 11 of 18 , Sep 6, 2007
                          --- Bill McNutt <mcnutt@...> wrote:

                          > I LIKE competition.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Will
                          >
                          Yeah, but that's just you. <g> There are lots of
                          folks who put stuff in A&S competitions because their
                          peer told them to, they just want it to be seen, and
                          are just not into the competition part of the process.

                          I will also add that, as a judge, I find I can be
                          easily influenced by the other judges, especially in
                          areas I'm not as familiar with. I don't think that's
                          good, just fact. I think the training of judges is
                          something that would improve the process.

                          As for getting all the experts to judge a category,
                          I'd like to see how someone herds those cats.

                          Blessings,
                          Marthe Elsbeth, OP, OL




                          ____________________________________________________________________________________
                          Building a website is a piece of cake. Yahoo! Small Business gives you all the tools to get online.
                          http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/webhosting
                        • Tracy Swanson
                          My thought was that if you have artisans teaching classes, those classes are pre-arranged. If the classes are pre-arranged, you know what areas are available
                          Message 12 of 18 , Sep 6, 2007
                            My thought was that if you have artisans teaching classes, those classes are pre-arranged. If the classes are pre-arranged, you know what areas are available for judging - just rope the teachers into judging. Use what you have. If your class line-up consists of a carver, a costumer, an illuminator and a researcher, then the competitions would be open to carving, garb, illumination and historical research. In this way all of the open categories will have a proper judge who knows his or her subject. For any items outside of the fields, have an A&S show. All it takes is a bit of pre-planning. When asking the various artisans if they will teach, also ask if they are willing to judge. If the competition runs all day long, as most of them do, the judges will have the opportunity to review the work when not teaching classes.
                             
                            As an artisan, I would be willing to put forth that much extra effort and I believe that most others would as well, especially if they are forewarned.
                             
                            In Magical Service,
                            Malaki
                             
                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Bill McNutt
                            Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:51 PM
                            To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Some thoughts on this judging question

                            How do you do that?  Fairecrats in Meridies are always beating the bushes for judges in advance, yet still have to fill categories right up until the last moment.

                            Will


                            From: medievalsawdust@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:medievalsaw dust@yahoogroups .com] On Behalf Of Tracy Swanson
                            Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 1:48 AM
                            To: medievalsawdust@ yahoogroups. com
                            Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Some thoughts on this judging question

                            It is true that you cannot please everyone, but there is another possible solution:

                            What if the person in charge of A&S at a given event were to pre-arrange the judges and restrict the competition to the areas of the judge's expertise? Admittedly it would take more planning on the part of the A&S-o-crat, but at least those who entered would be assured of being judged by someone who knows more than a little something about the subject. Perhaps such competitions could and should be part of the King's College? At least at that event there would be a higher than usual number of "experts".

                            Just a thought...

                            In Magical Service,

                            Malaki

                          • THL Isaac MacDaniel
                            The real problem is while some people are qualified to teach a introduction level class they may not be qualified to judge a complex entry. They may know how
                            Message 13 of 18 , Sep 7, 2007
                              The real problem is while some people are qualified to teach a introduction level class they may not be qualified to judge a complex entry. They may know how to make starting leave project but don't know about the time period or country  ...etc.

                              In service
                              Isaac MacDaniel

                              Tracy Swanson wrote:

                              My thought was that if you have artisans teaching classes, those classes are pre-arranged. If the classes are pre-arranged, you know what areas are available for judging - just rope the teachers into judging. Use what you have. If your class line-up consists of a carver, a costumer, an illuminator and a researcher, then the competitions would be open to carving, garb, illumination and historical research. In this way all of the open categories will have a proper judge who knows his or her subject. For any items outside of the fields, have an A&S show. All it takes is a bit of pre-planning. When asking the various artisans if they will teach, also ask if they are willing to judge. If the competition runs all day long, as most of them do, the judges will have the opportunity to review the work when not teaching classes.
                               
                              As an artisan, I would be willing to put forth that much extra effort and I believe that most others would as well, especially if they are forewarned.
                               
                              In Magical Service,
                              Malaki
                               
                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: medievalsawdust@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:medievalsaw dust@yahoogroups .com]On Behalf Of Bill McNutt
                              Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:51 PM
                              To: medievalsawdust@ yahoogroups. com
                              Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Some thoughts on this judging question

                              How do you do that?  Fairecrats in Meridies are always beating the bushes for judges in advance, yet still have to fill categories right up until the last moment.

                              Will


                              From: medievalsawdust@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:medievalsaw dust@yahoogroups .com] On Behalf Of Tracy Swanson
                              Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 1:48 AM
                              To: medievalsawdust@ yahoogroups. com
                              Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Some thoughts on this judging question

                              It is true that you cannot please everyone, but there is another possible solution:

                              What if the person in charge of A&S at a given event were to pre-arrange the judges and restrict the competition to the areas of the judge's expertise? Admittedly it would take more planning on the part of the A&S-o-crat, but at least those who entered would be assured of being judged by someone who knows more than a little something about the subject. Perhaps such competitions could and should be part of the King's College? At least at that event there would be a higher than usual number of "experts".

                              Just a thought...

                              In Magical Service,

                              Malaki


                            • gunwaldt
                              Gunwaldt here, ... I like competition also. What I dislike is entire events dedicated to A&S competitions, when these events are organized and executed in
                              Message 14 of 18 , Sep 7, 2007
                                Gunwaldt here,

                                Master William wrote:
                                > How do you do that? Fairecrats in Meridies are always
                                > beating the bushes for judges in advance, yet still
                                > have to fill categories right up until the last moment.

                                and also wrote:
                                > I LIKE competition.

                                I like competition also. What I dislike is entire events dedicated to
                                A&S competitions, when these events are organized and executed in
                                such a fashion as to emphasize the mundanities of modern competitions
                                and have no real flavor of any "periodness" to them.

                                The issue of finding enough qualified judges comes (partially at
                                least) from having so many categories in a single time/location and
                                suggests to me that the problem needs to be reformulated. No two
                                groups have to "do it" the same way and yet I know of no kingdom that
                                doesn't have some kingdom-wide A&S competition held at a single event,
                                trying to cram all possible creations into a predefined set of
                                categories. Consider diversifying the competitions across all kingdom
                                events. Consider limiting the categories to the ones for which you
                                can find judges. But firstly, define why you are having the
                                competition. I don't think there is a single reason, rather there are
                                multiple purposes. I am reminded of different shaped pegs and holes,
                                and not every job can be accomplished by a bigger hammer.

                                Gunwaldt



                                Certainly competitions are period.


                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Will
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > _____
                                >
                                > From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                                > [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tracy Swanson
                                > Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 1:48 AM
                                > To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                                > Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Some thoughts on this judging question
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > It is true that you cannot please everyone, but there is another
                                possible
                                > solution:
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > What if the person in charge of A&S at a given event were to
                                pre-arrange the
                                > judges and restrict the competition to the areas of the judge's
                                expertise?
                                > Admittedly it would take more planning on the part of the
                                A&S-o-crat, but at
                                > least those who entered would be assured of being judged by someone who
                                > knows more than a little something about the subject. Perhaps such
                                > competitions could and should be part of the King's College? At least at
                                > that event there would be a higher than usual number of "experts".
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Just a thought...
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > In Magical Service,
                                >
                                > Malaki
                                >
                              • James Winkler
                                ... events. Consider limiting the categories to the ones for which you can find judges.
                                Message 15 of 18 , Sep 7, 2007
                                  >> Consider diversifying the competitions across all
                                  kingdom
                                  events. Consider limiting the categories to the ones for which you
                                  can find judges. <<
                                   
                                  Hummm... 
                                   
                                  #1:  Like it... cool idea.
                                   
                                  #2:  Can-o-worms...  I can hear the "you don't love me anymore" arguments warming up in the whining section...  and the "but they got a COOLER event to show their stuff (ie "... the Crown wasn't at mine") than WE get to show OUR stuff...
                                   
                                  In spirit I'm with ya'... but I'd hate to be the KMOAS that tries to do it...
                                   
                                  If ya' REALLY want the best way to get yer stuff out there...  eschew (cool word, eh?) the competitions...  ain't no real way to compare pieces anyway unless everybody makes the same thing... or at least stays in roughly the same culture/time period...  the BEST way for an artisan to get what they're looking for is to get out there and DO IT.   Set up demos... set up classes... sit by yer' pavillion makin' something.  Set up a craftsman's display where you show off yer' stuff while showing people HOW to make it.  You will get noticed... you will attract like mined craftsmen (who we all know all have their own opinions on how good ya' did and how they would have done it differently..  )...  and, with luck... you'll inspire some other craftsman out there to do ya' one better... and then the fun begins.
                                   
                                  I think part of the problem is that everybody is looking for a way to be seen... and not so much really the competition.  How do you compare one of my ol' 6 board chests to a viking wagon???  Who wins?  Any evaluation would have to involve some foundation for comparison.   Oh, yea... you can do the *rating game*... things are scored against some abstract yardstick (common to many "A&S competitions"... but what does it mean in the end?
                                   
                                  Nope... again, as my ol' buddy Avery sez', "It ain't a competition... it's an EXHIBITION." 
                                   
                                  Become an exhibitionist and you'll get all the feedback yer' heart desires... and you'll get it from enough people to make a proper evaluation of your efforts rather than the random sampling of an A&S Faire.
                                   
                                  Chas.
                                • Tracy Swanson
                                  That is already a problem. By adapting methods such as these you would at least know, more or less, what levels the instructors are, for they were asked to
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Sep 7, 2007
                                    That is already a problem. By adapting methods such as these you would at least know, more or less, what levels the instructors are, for they were asked to teach in the first place. If they are not up to judging, they do not have to participate in that area.
                                     
                                    I too enjoy competition, for it allows me to se other people's work, as well as getting at least some constructive criticism. The problem with not having competitions are manyfold. It offers a chance to have many various artists in the same time/space continuum, encouraging those and other artists to get out there and create. Sure, you can have shows that so the same thing, but how will you then select an A&S Champion, as most baronies do? The truth is, more people will show up for a competition than for a show due to the potential for recognition and prizes. Too many artists of the current age go unnoticed, and I have yet to find a patron, for those too are in seriously short supply these days. Probably only some of the reasons why we do the competitions
                                     
                                    In Magical Service,
                                    Malaki
                                     
                                    -----Original Message-----
                                    From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of THL Isaac MacDaniel
                                    Sent: Friday, September 07, 2007 10:57 AM
                                    To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Some thoughts on this judging question

                                    The real problem is while some people are qualified to teach a introduction level class they may not be qualified to judge a complex entry. They may know how to make starting leave project but don't know about the time period or country  ...etc.

                                    In service
                                    Isaac MacDaniel

                                    Tracy Swanson wrote:

                                    My thought was that if you have artisans teaching classes, those classes are pre-arranged. If the classes are pre-arranged, you know what areas are available for judging - just rope the teachers into judging. Use what you have. If your class line-up consists of a carver, a costumer, an illuminator and a researcher, then the competitions would be open to carving, garb, illumination and historical research. In this way all of the open categories will have a proper judge who knows his or her subject. For any items outside of the fields, have an A&S show. All it takes is a bit of pre-planning. When asking the various artisans if they will teach, also ask if they are willing to judge. If the competition runs all day long, as most of them do, the judges will have the opportunity to review the work when not teaching classes.
                                     
                                    As an artisan, I would be willing to put forth that much extra effort and I believe that most others would as well, especially if they are forewarned.
                                     
                                    In Magical Service,
                                    Malaki
                                     
                                    -----Original Message-----
                                    From: medievalsawdust@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:medievalsaw dust@yahoogroups .com]On Behalf Of Bill McNutt
                                    Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:51 PM
                                    To: medievalsawdust@ yahoogroups. com
                                    Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Some thoughts on this judging question

                                    How do you do that?  Fairecrats in Meridies are always beating the bushes for judges in advance, yet still have to fill categories right up until the last moment.

                                    Will


                                    From: medievalsawdust@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:medievalsaw dust@yahoogroups .com] On Behalf Of Tracy Swanson
                                    Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 1:48 AM
                                    To: medievalsawdust@ yahoogroups. com
                                    Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Some thoughts on this judging question

                                    It is true that you cannot please everyone, but there is another possible solution:

                                    What if the person in charge of A&S at a given event were to pre-arrange the judges and restrict the competition to the areas of the judge's expertise? Admittedly it would take more planning on the part of the A&S-o-crat, but at least those who entered would be assured of being judged by someone who knows more than a little something about the subject. Perhaps such competitions could and should be part of the King's College? At least at that event there would be a higher than usual number of "experts".

                                    Just a thought...

                                    In Magical Service,

                                    Malaki


                                  • Rhys Terafan Greydragon
                                    Greetings all from Terafan, ... other ... You are absolutely right! This is where I have had some of the most fun and created some of the coolest stuff! For
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Sep 9, 2007
                                      Greetings all from Terafan,
                                       
                                         Master Charles said:
                                       
                                      >...get out there and
                                      DO IT.   ...  and, with luck... you'll inspire some other
                                      > craftsman out
                                      there to do ya' one better... and then the fun begins.
                                       
                                      You are absolutely right!   This is where I have had some of the most fun and created some of the coolest stuff!  
                                       
                                      For about 10 years, I have had running "make spiff stuff" competitions with both Sir Kragon (from the Outlands) and Sir Dafydd ap Gwystl (from Atlantia).  They do one thing, and show it to me.  It is really cool, and I say "Wow !  That rocks! " ... but then I think that if if I *did X* then I could make one even spiffier and so I go off and do that.  Later on, I make some other cool item, and show it to them, and I can hear the gears in their minds going "Wow!  That rocks! ... but if I did X then I could make one even spiffier" and *they* go do that. 
                                       
                                      Nobody else cares except us, but *we* each like the encouragement to make our encampments spiffier, and we get all sorts of praise and wondrous comments whenever someone else comes wandering through the encampment checking things out. 
                                       
                                      cheers,
                                         Terafan
                                       
                                      Master Rhys Terafan Greydragon    terafan@...
                                      Brewer, Tent and Furniture makers, and other things I can't remember...
                                       
                                       

                                      From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of James Winkler
                                      Sent: Friday, September 07, 2007 3:05 PM
                                      To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Re: Some thoughts on this judging question

                                      >> Consider diversifying the competitions across all
                                      kingdom
                                      events. Consider limiting the categories to the ones for which you
                                      can find judges. <<
                                       
                                      Hummm... 
                                       
                                      #1:  Like it... cool idea.
                                       
                                      #2:  Can-o-worms. ..  I can hear the "you don't love me anymore" arguments warming up in the whining section...  and the "but they got a COOLER event to show their stuff (ie "... the Crown wasn't at mine") than WE get to show OUR stuff...
                                       
                                      In spirit I'm with ya'... but I'd hate to be the KMOAS that tries to do it...
                                       
                                      If ya' REALLY want the best way to get yer stuff out there...  eschew (cool word, eh?) the competitions. ..  ain't no real way to compare pieces anyway unless everybody makes the same thing... or at least stays in roughly the same culture/time period...  the BEST way for an artisan to get what they're looking for is to get out there and DO IT.   Set up demos... set up classes... sit by yer' pavillion makin' something.  Set up a craftsman's display where you show off yer' stuff while showing people HOW to make it.  You will get noticed... you will attract like mined craftsmen (who we all know all have their own opinions on how good ya' did and how they would have done it differently. .  )...  and, with luck... you'll inspire some other craftsman out there to do ya' one better... and then the fun begins.
                                       
                                      I think part of the problem is that everybody is looking for a way to be seen... and not so much really the competition.  How do you compare one of my ol' 6 board chests to a viking wagon???  Who wins?  Any evaluation would have to involve some foundation for comparison.   Oh, yea... you can do the *rating game*... things are scored against some abstract yardstick (common to many "A&S competitions" ... but what does it mean in the end?
                                       
                                      Nope... again, as my ol' buddy Avery sez', "It ain't a competition. .. it's an EXHIBITION." 
                                       
                                      Become an exhibitionist and you'll get all the feedback yer' heart desires... and you'll get it from enough people to make a proper evaluation of your efforts rather than the random sampling of an A&S Faire.
                                       
                                      Chas.

                                    • Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart
                                      This kinda thing can also go into the area of SCA-useful.... ( you can t document it, you can t enter an A&S competition with it.... but who cares it s just
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Sep 9, 2007
                                        This kinda thing can also go into the area of
                                        SCA-useful.... ( you can't document it, you can't
                                        enter an A&S competition with it.... but who cares
                                        it's just too cool not to do....)

                                        I love SCA-useful.



                                         
                                        Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart

                                        Aude Aliquid Dignum
                                        ' Dare Something Worthy '


                                        ----- Original Message ----
                                        From: Rhys Terafan Greydragon <terafan@...>
                                        To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                                        Sent: Sunday, September 9, 2007 10:33:00 AM
                                        Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Some thoughts on this judging question

                                        Greetings all from Terafan,
                                         
                                           Master Charles said:
                                         
                                        >...get out there and
                                        DO IT.   ....  and, with luck... you'll inspire some other
                                        > craftsman out
                                        there to do ya' one better... and then the fun begins.
                                         
                                        You are absolutely right!   This is where I have had some of the most fun and created some of the coolest stuff!  
                                         
                                        For about 10 years, I have had running "make spiff stuff" competitions with both Sir Kragon (from the Outlands) and Sir Dafydd ap Gwystl (from Atlantia).  They do one thing, and show it to me.  It is really cool, and I say "Wow !  That rocks! " ... but then I think that if if I *did X* then I could make one even spiffier and so I go off and do that.  Later on, I make some other cool item, and show it to them, and I can hear the gears in their minds going "Wow!  That rocks! ... but if I did X then I could make one even spiffier" and *they* go do that. 
                                         
                                        Nobody else cares except us, but *we* each like the encouragement to make our encampments spiffier, and we get all sorts of praise and wondrous comments whenever someone else comes wandering through the encampment checking things out. 
                                         
                                        cheers,
                                           Terafan
                                         
                                        Master Rhys Terafan Greydragon    terafan@greydragon. org
                                        Brewer, Tent and Furniture makers, and other things I can't remember...
                                         
                                         

                                        From: medievalsawdust@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:medievalsaw dust@yahoogroups .com] On Behalf Of James Winkler
                                        Sent: Friday, September 07, 2007 3:05 PM
                                        To: medievalsawdust@ yahoogroups. com
                                        Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Re: Some thoughts on this judging question

                                        >> Consider diversifying the competitions across all kingdom
                                        events. Consider limiting the categories to the ones for which you
                                        can find judges. <<
                                         
                                        Hummm... 
                                         
                                        #1:  Like it... cool idea.
                                         
                                        #2:  Can-o-worms. ..  I can hear the "you don't love me anymore" arguments warming up in the whining section...  and the "but they got a COOLER event to show their stuff (ie "... the Crown wasn't at mine") than WE get to show OUR stuff...
                                         
                                        In spirit I'm with ya'... but I'd hate to be the KMOAS that tries to do it...
                                         
                                        If ya' REALLY want the best way to get yer stuff out there...  eschew (cool word, eh?) the competitions. ..  ain't no real way to compare pieces anyway unless everybody makes the same thing... or at least stays in roughly the same culture/time period...  the BEST way for an artisan to get what they're looking for is to get out there and DO IT.   Set up demos... set up classes... sit by yer' pavillion makin' something.  Set up a craftsman's display where you show off yer' stuff while showing people HOW to make it.  You will get noticed... you will attract like mined craftsmen (who we all know all have their own opinions on how good ya' did and how they would have done it differently. .  )...  and, with luck... you'll inspire some other craftsman out there to do ya' one better... and then the fun begins.
                                         
                                        I think part of the problem is that everybody is looking for a way to be seen... and not so much really the competition.  How do you compare one of my ol' 6 board chests to a viking wagon???  Who wins?  Any evaluation would have to involve some foundation for comparison.   Oh, yea... you can do the *rating game*... things are scored against some abstract yardstick (common to many "A&S competitions" ... but what does it mean in the end?
                                         
                                        Nope... again, as my ol' buddy Avery sez', "It ain't a competition. .. it's an EXHIBITION." 
                                         
                                        Become an exhibitionist and you'll get all the feedback yer' heart desires... and you'll get it from enough people to make a proper evaluation of your efforts rather than the random sampling of an A&S Faire.
                                         
                                        Chas.




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