Juried status is an honors award, a form of recognition, that is given to members whose work is recognized as excellent in design and technique. This standard is maintained by having a jurying process which must be passed before exhibiting work in Guild sponsored events. Our standards committee meets twice a year to jury the actual work of applicants. If their work is judged excellent they are awarded a certificate designed by longtime member and internationally recognized fraktur artist, Ruthann Hartung.
Jurying is probably the most controversial activity of the guild, and I think it always will be. Our work is very personal, an extension of ourselves, and it can be difficult to be objective about it. But remember, it is the work, not you, that is being juried. Think of it as a learning experience, a chance to be critiqued by experts. There are 3 common reasons for work not being accepted. First is the quality of the work. The jury will assume that this is the best you can do, so make sure it is. Second, submit work that reflects a common style. Often the jury sees 5 pieces that look as if they were made by 5 different people. And third, sometimes the work doesn’t meet the Guild’s definition of a designer craft. Note the words “designer” and “craft”.
When you have been a chapter member for 3 months and want to attend a jury session, choose your five pieces carefully. Print the jury application from our website or get one at a general meeting, and return it to the chairman before the jury session. Read and understand the Standards Statement. We do not jury some items, including assemblages. Be sure to check the newsletter for current information on the date and time. We usually hold the jury session on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at the Goggleworks in March and September. Check the board when you come for the room number. The room opens at 6:30pm for you to set up your work, and the jury session starts at 7:00pm, when you will be asked to leave the room. It usually takes about one hour to jury. The Goggleworks has a cafe on the first floor which will be closed but you can sit at the tables and read, or take a walk through the building. When we are finished, you will be invited back into the room.
As you are waiting, the Standards Committee is reviewing each piece of your work and the information you provided. Each piece is reviewed for quality of workmanship, originality, functionality (if applicable), design, interpretation, durability and quality of materials as well as other aspects of the whole item. No one is accepted or rejected by the opinion of one person on the committee. Recommendations either way are always by majority. When every applicant’s work has been reviewed, you can return, and someone from the committee will be available to answer any questions you may have. Your review sheet will have comments or advice as well as compliments. If you do not understand what was written, now is the time to ask questions.
If your work was accepted, congratulations! You will receive your jury certificate at the next general meeting. We hope this will mark a step in your development as a craftsman. If your work was not accepted, please carefully read the comments and advice on your paper. A rejection is never easy. Someone on the committee will speak with you, if possible someone from your medium. Listen to the juror, read the comments and keep a cool head. Rejection hurts, but it can also be a useful tool for the future. Take your things home, and in a day or two, think again about the comments. Vow to use these suggestions positively. We sincerely want to see you come back in six months and try again. Then we will know you are serious and committed to excellence in your craft. Many juried members have been turned down the first time, and came back later as a much better craftsman. Our goal is not to discourage but to teach and encourage. We truly do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings and will gladly recommend a mentor to help you get on track.
Reading-Berks Standards Committee
Reading-Berks Standards Statement & Policy
The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen prescribes individualism, inventiveness and craftsmanship whether works are produced in quantity or as one-of-a-kind creations. The ideal work is characterized by excellence. Now, when mediocrity is commonplace, it is more important than ever to reaffirm the hallmarks of good craftsmanship- well-crafted work, free of faults, reflecting the artisan’s imagination and individuality.
A craftsman is one who creates out of basic materials from his own design or from established form, by his own skill and the best techniques of his craft, an object that fulfills its purpose to the satisfaction of the user and the beholder. Throughout the stages of creation, quality of design and construction should be uppermost in the craftsman’s mind.
All work for sale must be designed and executed by the craftsman or directly under his supervision. Reproductions of traditional designs should be labeled as such and the source and date stated when possible. Craftsmen are encouraged to sign their work.
Keep in mind that juried status is a privilege. The Standards Committee reserves the right to remove any member from juried status if their work no longer meets the standards of quality.
When you consider applying for juried status, read the following guidelines carefully.
- Quality– an overall consideration of the work. Choose pieces showing your style and expertise.
- Craftsmanship– reflects excellence and high standards of quality; a capability beyond minimal technical skills.
- Materials– of the highest quality. Commercially made objects may not be the major part of any work.
- Design– should reflect the function of an object where this is appropriate. Copies of another’s work, commercial kits, assemblages, or patterns of any kind are not acceptable.
In order to insure the highest quality of craftsmanship, all persons wishing to display or sell their craft at a Reading-Berks Guild sponsored event must have their work juried by the Standards Committee.
This Committee is composed of members representing different craft media. Guest experts may be invited to jury a craft in an unusual area if there is no committee member available in a given craft area.
The Standards Committee meets two times a year to jury work- March and September. However, it is always advisable to check the Newsletter for exact date, time and place. Applications are available online or from the chairperson at meetings or by phone.
In submitting work to the jury, the following is requested:
- Bring five items per craft. Exceptions will be made for furniture, quilts and other complex items.
- Do not submit soiled, damaged, or incomplete items; they will not be reviewed.
- Submit items that represent the highest degree of your skill, taking care to check for excellence of finish and construction.
- Do not submit items assembled from kits; they are unacceptable.
- No work completed under the direct supervision of a class instructor is allowed.
- You must be a member of this chapter for at least three (3) months.
If your work is accepted, you may participate in chapter sponsored marketing venues including shows. However, if your work fails to meet the standards of your juried work, you will be asked to remove it.