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The Jury Process for SACA Members
Sunday, August 5, 2018

Location: Romero House Potters
102 W. Washington Street,Tucson, AZ 85701

If you are interest in Jurying, please complete the 
on-line application. Space is limited, only the first ten 
applicants will be accepted, registration closes on 
August 2, 2018.  Sorry no walk-Ins allowed on the day of the session.

At a Jury Session you will need to drop off your 5 pieces between 9:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 5, 2018. You must leave by 10:15 a.m. The judges and jurors never meet. The judges work between 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., after which you are responsible to return for your work between 1:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Please read the guidelines listed below.
Jury Session Guidelines

Jury Intentions:  There are standards of good craftsmanship and artistry to which all SACA juried artists should aspire. SACA must ensure that its members present high quality work at juried shows and exhibitions. By presenting our finest work, we help educate viewers and further SACA’s mission “to provide a greater understanding and appreciation for clay to the community at large”. Jury sessions may also provide helpful feedback to artists to assist their continued development.  

Jury Requirements:  Bring five pieces of work to the session. Your pieces should fit well in a space approximately 30” X 30”. Affix a small label (no larger than 1”X1”) to each piece in a prominent position with a number from 1-5. Complete an Art Description Form (see link below) for the pieces you bring. You may bring stands, easels, and fabrics to display your pieces to their best advantage.

Tips for Being Juried:

Bring your best work. The primary criterion for acceptable work is good workmanship. Make sure all pieces are well-made (smooth bottoms, clean and free of dust, no chips or cracks, uneven walls, rough or sharp edges and obvious repairs). Make sure any feet, legs, handles, and the like are well built and solidly affixed.

Ensure pieces function as intended. Clay work intended for food or drink must have food-safe glazes and functional forms. Hanging pieces must have sound hanging devices. Vases must hold water.

Also judge the weight of your piece versus its intended function. Lids should fit well, with smooth mating surfaces on lid and vessel. Raku and many low-fired pieces are not safe for food or liquids. Mark such items with paint or permanent maker, or enclose an information sheet about proper usage.  

Bring pieces appropriately glazed. Work should be free of glazing flaws such as over-runs, thin areas, sharp edges, crazing, bubbling, crawling, or pin holes except when clearly intended for special effects.

Be original. Whatever the construction technique, make sure your work demonstrates your own imagination and originality. Show you own creativity, individuality and knowledge of the medium. Deriving inspiration from another is all right as long as the composition, colors and/or details make the work uniquely your own.

Try a trail-run at home. Set up your presentation and view it through another’s eyes. Get opinions from others. Teachers and professionals may be good resources for helpful insights and constructive critic.

Aesthetics and Originality

Perhaps the element least understood in jurying is “aesthetics” and it is the hardest to define. Aesthetically sound work displays an understanding of the elements and principles of good design, shape, line, color, texture, balance and composition. Good aesthetics clearly demonstrates the artist’s voice and personality, as well as intention and “body of work”. Here is some juror feedback from prior sessions to help shed light on how to assess this element of artwork.  

“Aesthetically sound work is original and unique with a clear voice from the artist. We all learn at first by copying, but eventually the true artist moves toward work which demonstrates his/her own personality, vision, and original ideas. Surface decoration techniques offer the most opportunity for creating unique work.”

“An identifiable 'body of work’ makes a positive aesthetic statement. When an artist displays pieces with correlating elements, it usually strengthens the presentation. This can be done through repeating ideas, similar glaze colors or techniques, repeating forms or the decorative elements. Some artist may believe they can best demonstrate their knowledge of a range of techniques with widely different pieced, but the display could end up looking disorienting instead o coherent On the other hand, pieces which are all too similar in form and color make a boring display. Similar forms need individual personalities. Create ways to meld repeating elements into an interesting display with a defined voice. The use of color often makes a favorable impact. If the work does not feature the use of color, use interesting elements of form or texture to make the best impression.”

“The word ‘original’ is also complicated. In a medium with thousands of years of history, new forms and methods are scarce. But even classic forms can be made unique with a twist (sometimes literally) in shape or decoration. Incorporate commercially available tools and form with discretion. The easy availably of stamps, texturizes, slip cast forms, decals and more offers abundant opportunities for creativity. Strive to use them with moderation. For example a commercial slip cast plate dipped in two glaze colors would hardly be classified original. But a slip casting form created by the artist clearly makes the work unique. A purchased slip cast form must be made personal by applying truly unique surface decorations. It is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and what inspires one person may put off another. Above all, display pieces that best inform the viewer of your own unique creativity and personality. Learning how to prepare for jurying also better prepares artist for other types of splay such as shows or exhibits.”

For jury questions
or more information
please contact
Martha Cordova
at 626-290-7901, or

About the Jurors:

Jurors are recruited only from the SACA membership or from local clay educators and professionals. Typically they have many years of experience and/or training,and a willingness to help raise the level of expertise among SACA members. They are sensitive to the anxieties inherent in the jury process, and direct their commentsto the purpose of the member’s education and growth.​Each jury session strives to maintain the anonymity of each artist. Numbers are assigned in place of names. Forms are provided to allow jurors to write comments and/or numerically rate the artists and each of their pieces. Jurors first evaluate each artist independently, and then as a group discuss the peices they have seen to arrive at a consensus.The jurors’ comments are collected by the session administrator and are available to pass along to the artists. The administrator emails each artist within two days to give the jury’s decision. The jury results are “Accepted” or “Deferred.” Deferrals are meant by the jurors to say the artist is not ready yet to participate in a juried show, but the artist is encouraged to seek help from professionals and try again later. 
CLICK HERE to fill out a Jury Registration Form