In my last post I shared that I am now a juried member of the League of NH Craftsmen. This is a great honor and an exciting next step for me as an artist. I wanted to share a little more about my clay jury as well as the pieces that I brought in for my critique. Andrew and Noah came with me to Concord, NH (the League headquarters) to be my moral support while I had my jury. When I first arrived, I was greeted by some of the staff and brought into one of the side rooms for my jury. There I was asked to set my work out on the table and when I was ready they would bring in my jurors. When I was all set, my three jurors (well-standing clay artists with the League) were brought in and introduced to me as well as another artist (who is the standards and education manager). I shared a little bit about myself, where I work and my technique while they moved around the table picking up my pieces and examining them. They asked me several questions while they openly critiqued my work. After about 15 minutes or so, I was brought back into the lobby so my jurors could critique my work in private and make their decision about my acceptance or not, into the League.
Surprisingly, I didn’t really feel all that nervous. I was pretty nervous the first time I juried for the League back in 2010, but I felt much more confident about my work this time around and knew I had improved a great deal. I think I was ready to accept their answer either way. I probably was in the lobby for about a half hour when I was brought back into the room with my jurors. They welcomed me back and the first thing that was said was, “Well, first of all, congratulations! You are now a member of the League of NH Craftsmen”! It was such an exciting thing to hear. Right after that was when my palms started sweating…I guess I did have some nerves after all. Perhaps it was utter relief! Then my jurors showed me that my work was divided into two piles. The group of pieces closest to my seat were ones that were fully accepted by the League and ready to be placed in their galleries and showrooms for sale. The other group of pieces were in front of the jurors and were pieces that were good, but still need some refinement before being fully accepted into the galleries.
They then shared, one at a time, my strengths and weakness with a lot of great tips and suggestions to work towards. It was such an encouraging time and it made me want to get in the studio right away to start fine-tuning those specific elements about my work. I will be getting to work on those things this week as well as bringing my first group of fully accepted work into a League gallery for display and sales. I will be sure to keep sharing about my journey as a League member along the way. Here are the pieces showed for my jury critique.