Submitted by: Ferron, SCC Member Services Coordinator
The annual jury session of the Saskatchewan Craft Council is coming up in just a few short months, in mid-March.  As we begin to prepare for the session, let’s take a look at the jury standards and their history in a two part series.
Part 1 – The Jury Standards

The SCC utilizes jury standards to ensure that products sold at SCC markets are high quality handmade objects, in keeping with the mandate to promote excellence in Craft.  There are over twenty different mediums juried by the SCC, each with their own specific criteria.  There is also general product eligibility criteria, which lays out the basic requirements for any craft article; including that it must be the original idea of the craftsperson, well designed technically and aesthetically, and capable of serving the purpose for which it was designed. 
Another, very key piece of the jury standards, is that articles must be made by hand – assembly of commercially available parts as opposed to skillful manipulation of materials are not accepted, nor is the use of commercial kits or molds.  Ready-made parts or components are permitted only if they are subordinate to the total design and craftsmanship of the article. This means that only high quality, original, genuinely handmade work is available at SCC markets, and in other SCC marketing initiatives such as the Fine Craft Boutique.

WinterGreen Fine Craft Market 2013
Claude Morin
Photo Credit Thom Archer

WinterGreen Fine Craft Market 2013
Melody Armstrong
Photo Credit Thom Archer

The jury standards ensure works sold at SCC markets fit with the mandate of the organization, but they do not mean that those works which would not pass the jury are necessarily non-functional, unappealing, or otherwise inferior.  Rather, it may mean that they are well crafted but use a large percent of ready-made items.  Or perhaps that the finish or fit of an item is slightly off – such as a ceramic vase that has an uneven base, or a bracelet that is unfinished on the inside.  As a craftsperson becomes more experienced they may refine their work to a point where it meets jury standards, or they may very happily market items that are outside of the scope of the SCC jury standards.  

For more information on the current jury standards and criteria, visit the SCC website.  In order to apply for the jury, one must be a current SCC Professional Craftsperson or Affiliated Marketer member.
Next week we will take a look back at the history of jury standards at the SCC and standards nationally.  Stay tuned!