macdj at onr.com
Thu Mar 30 23:35:01 PST 1995
> Stefan said:
>This is one of the problems I see with having the artisan specify if they
>are a beginner, intermediate or expert or beginner, beginner intermediate,
>advanced intermediate or expert etc. If they overestimate themselves are
>they then going to be considered pompous? If they underestimate themselves
>are they going to be considered cheating? And as somewhat pointed out in
>my first sentence, how do we define the levels? We have enough trouble
>maintaining a decent level of blow calibration over areas and kingdoms. That
>at least you can feel.
>I know it's sometimes discouraging to enter a contest you have no chance
>of winning if you are competing against a bunch of Laurels. But perhaps
>this gets back to "why are we entering the contest?" in the first place.
>Stefan li Rous
I don't know that this would solve the problem, but how about using the
number of times the person had practiced the craft. If it is their first
mead ever made, then they are a beginner. When its their 10th project,
they have moved onto intermediate. I have made 2 tablet woven belts but I
still consider myself a beginner because with both I had lots of help from
others. Now I am working on my own stuff without help. Within a few belts,
I will know enough on my own knowledge to no longer consider myself a
beginner. As a cook, I would have to consider myself somewhat beyond an
intermediate (but not an expert or such) because I have done several feasts
with all period food as well as cooked period food for most of the events
my lord and I camp at. I could certainly teach something about cooking
period food where I wouldn't be able to teach much about tablet weaving.
I am sure guidelines could be set up and taught that would help folks place
themselves in the proper category on their honor. Some would be harder on
themselves than others but it would mostly balance out, I would hope.
However, I still question whether there are enough entries to split
categories by the experience of the artisan and give prizes for each level.
I am not sure competitions are really helpful anyway. While its nice to
win a prize, I have found it more helpful to be given comments from persons
that are expert in the craft to help me improve my art. I prefer displays
that are 'judged' by the experts that give all participants comments on how
they are doing. Not something like 'interesting' but more like 'good period
design, unusual positioning of the swan, weave needs to be tighter, more
threads would have helped the pattern become clearer, look at XYZ's Book of
Pottery for period designs, good try at fixing the embroidery area in the
swan's left wing but perhaps xxx would be more successful, have you
considered using the period zzz stitch for applique instead of the modern
sewing machine stitch', etc. I always like to see a mix of positive
comments along with the critical ones. There is ALWAYS something good about
any project someone has attempted.
You have to depend on someone being honorable until proven otherwise by
that person. When I see a fighter not take a blow, I assume it was not good
because he is honorable no matter how it sounded or what it looked like.
It should be the same for artisans marking themselves beginners,
intermediates and so forth. In modern society we are very caught up with
labels. I am not sure that was the case medievally nor should it be the
case in our Society.
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