Ensuring Quality Audience & Craftsmanship

Meaning of ‘Floor Jurying’

Ensuring superior quality

Over the years the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen has built a reputation for presenting work of superior quality at its fine shows and exhibitions. As we promote each show, we promise the public an opportunity to see and purchase master-level work, and we promise our craftsmen an audience that recognizes and celebrates fine craftsmanship. To make certain we keep this trust between craftsmen and the public, our events are floor juried.

Floor jurying means that members of the Standards Committee walk the show and look inside each booth. They do so with the three benchmarks of the Guild’s Standards of Merit: excellence in craftsmanship, resolved design and unique style or voice.  These are also the three benchmarks that were used in February during show selection. Members of the Standards Committee are volunteers who have undergone extensive training.

Floor jurying takes place after show hours for purely pragmatic reasons. Members of the Standards Committee have uninterrupted time to walk the show without hampering patrons or exhibitors. It’s a time consuming task and care is taken to schedule floor jurying when it is least likely to disrupt sales activity or distract exhibitors from the patrons who are vying for that special one-on-one conversation with the craftsmen.

Sometimes, exhibitors prefer that the Standards Committee would do floor jurying during the show, but practice has shown this to be impractical. Exhibitors are distracted, long conversations keep patrons from the insides of booths, and sales diminish. Exhibitors who have questions can always reach the Standards Committee Vice President during or after a show with questions.

During floor jurying, the Standards Committee takes note of any work that may not reach the bar as dictated by the three benchmarks, and they also note work that is exceptionally superior and worth celebration.

After the show, letters are sent to those whose work was found to be exceptional as well as to those whose work did not pass muster.

For work found faulty, a three letter system is used to notify the craftsmen. The letter will specify which benchmark is lacking and note specific examples. It will also outline a course of action if the issues in the letter are not remedied.

For those whose work is found quite exceptional, a letter of commendation is sent noting the excellence in both quality and presentation.

If you see work at the show that you find questionable, please take the time to quietly make a note of the work, booth # and problem. Please do not engage the exhibitor or discuss the issue with others. Remember that discussion among exhibitors is overhead by patrons and can affect the mood of a show. Give the note to either the Standards Vice President, whose booth number is in the gate catalog, or to Nick Mohler, Project Manager. They’ll make certain the information gets to the Standards Committee. The Committee will follow-up discreetly. You will not be told the results as matters of floor jurying, just like other standards issues, are confidential.  Your confidentiality will be kept, as well as that of the person whose work is in question.

To prepare for floor jurying, use the three benchmarks is self evaluation. These are explained in detail on our website, www.pacrafts.org. Read these and do a careful self-assessment of your work for each area described.  Ask yourself how you measure up. Pay careful attention to details.

Floor jurying that occurs outside of show hours is a rare exception. Sometimes conflicts arise and some floor jurying must occur during the show. So if you see the Standards Committee in action, please understand that they are volunteering additional hours to ensure the highest quality for our shows. If they do enter your booth, please step aside quietly and allow them to do their task quickly. It is not necessary to engage in conversation. They, in turn, will not interrupt any work you have with a potential customer.  Mutual regard will go a long way and be well appreciated by all.

Pennsylvania Guild shows and events are as strong as we make them.  Our reputation was built on work of exceptional quality.  It takes all of us to keep that reputation shining.