Only Craftsman-level members in good standing are eligible to apply for Master Artisan status. Applicants submit 4 to 6 digital images that represent the nature and quality of the work to be reviewed by the jurors at the Master Artisan Session; a statement outlining the applicant’s craft background, education, specialized techniques and studio setup (i.e. independent studio, partnership, production studio with assistants or employees); and payment of the application fee.
Applications are reviewed by members of the Standards Committee and select appointees, based on their expertise in the applicant’s medium. Those applicants who meet the application criteria are invited to attend the next jury session on the PGC calendar. If there are too many qualified applicants to be accommodated in one session, the applicants will be invited according to the date of receipt of their completed application.
The non-refundable application fee is $55.00. Applicants whose works do not earn Master Artisan status may re-apply within two years from the date of unsuccessful jurying for a reduced fee of $25.00.
THE MASTER ARTISAN SESSION
On the day of the Master Artisan Session, accepted applicants will bring 4 to 6 works that they feel best to exemplify the Three Benchmarks: Excellence in Craftsmanship, Resolved Design, and Unique Voice or Faithful Reproduction of a Traditional Craft. There is no need to bring props; the jury will be focused exclusively on the work.
Applicants will each have three minutes to talk with two or three jurors about their work, concentrating on their choice of materials and techniques and skills they employ.
After the verbal presentations, the applicants will leave the jury area while jurors review the works, to determine whether they successfully meet the Three Benchmarks.
After a period of discussion, the jury will make a final decision. The decision, with comment, suggestion, or helpful criticism will be noted by the recording member of the jury on a form to be shared with the applicant via email, within one week of the session.
After decisions have been rendered, the applicants re-enter the room, in small groups, each applicant to be met by a juror or jurors who will speak with them, individually about the decision.
Successful candidates will receive a certificate within 4 weeks.
Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to accept constructive feedback from the jurors, but the applicant is not required to do so.
Excellence in Craftsmanship is reserved for work that shows the highest standards of quality. The work demonstrates a mastery of the medium, far beyond basic and intermediate proficiency skills. Attention to details and a thorough knowledge of the medium is demonstrated. Materials used are of the highest quality and of the best choice to enhance the overall design of the piece. The entire work is executed without technical flaw and it meets its intended purpose — e.g., if it’s a pitcher, it must pour, a jacket must fit, a drawer must glide freely. The appropriateness of technique and process are successfully united in a piece that shows excellence of craftsmanship.
Resolved Design shows good composition and artistic excellence. Choice of materials and methods shows innovation and mastery. Criteria for reproduction or original interpretation of traditional work include both the use of materials that are appropriate to the period and style and documentation to support the traditional style of the work being interpreted or reproduced.
UNIQUE VOICE OR FAITHFUL REPRODUCTION
Unique Voice speaks of the true creative nature of the Master Artisan who creates contemporary fine craft. The conceptual richness evidenced in the work shows the nature, complexity, and execution that marks the work as particular to this individual artisan. It is distinctive. Unique Voice sets it apart from the work of others. It achieves an individual identity readily recognizable as belonging to this artisan.
Faithful Reproduction represents the faithful and sensitive reproduction or original interpretation of traditional styles, designs, and shapes that have defined long-respected works of the craftsmen of our history.
Taken together, the Three Benchmarks, well executed, evidence work that merits the artisan the prestigious distinction of PGC Master Artisan.
The PGC’s mission is to create opportunities for traditional and contemporary artisans, craft enthusiasts, and collectors through education, advocacy, and community.
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