Dedicated readers of this blog may remember that around the time of my birthday last year, I rashly said that I intended to put forward a submission to IGMA with a view to attempting to achieve Artisan status.
I dutifully read all the rules which applied at the time and emailed the relevant person to pre-register my interest. I was assured that my details had been entered into 'the computer' and that I would be contacted nearer the time of submission (May 2009) with the updated guidelines, rules and regulations.
Time passed............. And if I'm completely honest, all thoughts of my submission were put firmly on the back burner. Information was supposed to be emailed to applicants in January of this year, but as you will remember, I was otherwise occupied during most of January, so I didn't give it any thought. It wasn't until I was chatting to a fellow miniaturist at the Thame Fair last month, and she mentioned that her artisan submission was all done and dusted and ready to post that I belatedly thought..........Oh bugger.
Undaunted, I have now been in contact with the selection person, who has duly emailed me the new guidelines, along with a virtual smack on the wrist for not having been more proactive back in January and chasing them up. I did not deign to reply that during January I was rather preoccupied with matters of life and death, and that having pre-registered as requested, I had expected to be contacted automatically.
Apparently the guidelines have changed significantly anyway, and I will now be expected to submit FIVE pieces, rather than the three I was anticipating. This is of little consequence, as the deadline for accepting submissions has also been brought forward and is now 9 April, which with the best will in the world, and even with a following wind, is, quite simply, impossible to achieve.
There is one piece of good news though.......... instead of having just one selection meeting per year, IGMA is introducing a second panel in November which is perhaps do-able.
The guidelines pertaining to the various categories for which work can be submitted, run to several pages and are forensic in the depth of detail of the required standard. All, that is, except the category in which I will be entering........Toys.
For every other category there are abundant bullet-pointed guidelines, concerning the materials that may be used, cautions regarding scale, use of glue, suggestions concerning colour and textures, and many, many edicts on what is, and is not, acceptable.
However under Toys category are just three sentences......
"This is a broad category. Toys can be made of almost any material. Please use the guidelines that most closely related to the material you are using. "
Cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth.....because some of the pieces I'm planning on creating, involve the use of several different materials, so I will have to conform to the extensive guidelines for up to three categories in just one piece.
The potential for disaster and coming seriously unstuck is legion.
In addition, apparently a large proportion of first time applicants do not gain the necessary number of points required to become an Artisan. And a second, or even third application, although covered by the initial fee of $50, must contain different pieces.
I am not at all sure that I would be successful at my first attempt, given the maze of assorted guidelines to which I must conform. And the thought of having to go through it all again a second time does not appeal either.
However, I can't resist a challenge, and I know I will acquit myself well, if not quite well enough.
So, I'll be using this blog as a sounding board for ideas, feedback and general moaning and whingeing during the creative process.
You have been warned.