ANST - authenticity vs a

Tyrca at Tyrca at
Sat Aug 16 09:20:29 PDT 1997

In a message dated 97-08-15 19:28:44 EDT, you write:

 Perhaps there should be a seperate contest for practical items vs.
 the one for artistic items?
 Stefan li Rous
 markh at
     I have not as yet entered this discussion, as I have not been sure what
my opinions were.  But I would like to say that from my research and
observations, I have found that even the most practical items were decorated
and artistic.  People in the Middle Ages (as opposed to us in these Later
Ages) looked at time differently than we do, and it is almost impossible for
us to remove ourselves from our own prejudices.
     When a competent Journeyman or Master Artisan built something, he took
the time to make it aesthetically pleasing as well as practical.  On much of
the apprentice work (which survived sometimes because it was not as pleasing
to use, and therefore ignored in favor of a masterfully turned piece) these
things were left out much of the time in favor of utility.  It was more
important to finish a project correctly than it was to embellish it.  
     And so I find the complaint that plain things are not judged fairly a
little of the apprentice wondering when his work would be that to match that
of the Master.  "It is well-made but plain" is just another way of saying, "I
could have embellished, but I didn't".

     On another note, the reason I have not entered competitions is that I
invest so much of myself in my work that it is difficult for me to hand over
my things to be sneered at.  ( I am not making any accusations, nor do I have
anyone specific in mind with that comment.)  And this is possibly some of the
feeling for those who want to do "practical vs artistic".  No matter what
kind of judging or criteria, form or no form, personalities aside, anything
in an arts competition is subjective.  In other words, everything is only
dealing with opinion.  It is not like a heavy weapons tourney, where the
competitor is the judge of the blow.  In the Arts and Sciences, everyone but
the competitor are the judges.  In heavy weapons terms, it is as if the
audience and the marshalls are the ones who tell the combatants which blows
are good, and which to ignore.
     I wish there were a way for the competition to be set up more
one-on-one, like combat is.  I would be better able to handle that sort of
thing.  But I do not have any good suggestions as to how to do that.

Lady Tyrca Ivarsdottir

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