Jury Session Guidelines
Jury Intentions: There are standards of good craftsmanship and artistry to which all SACA juried artists should aspire to. 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 three to 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 any stands, easels, and fabrics to display your pieces to best their best advantage.
Tips for Being Juried:
• Do bring your best work. The primary criterion for acceptable work is good workmanship. Make sure all pieces are well-made, with smooth bottoms, clean, and free of cracks, dust, chips, uneven walls, rough or sharp edges and obvious repairs. Make sure any feet, legs, handles, and the like are well built
and solidly affixed.
• Do make sure 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 marker, or enclose an information sheet about proper usage.
• Do 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.
• Do be original. Whatever the construction technique, make sure your work demonstrates your own imagination and originality. Show your own creativity, individuality and knowledge of the medium. Deriving inspiration from another is alright as long as the composition, colors and/or details make
the work uniquely your own.
• Do try a trial-run at home. Set up your presentation and view it through another’s eyes. Get opinions from others; teachers and professionals may offer helpful insights.
A Discussion about 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 demonstrate 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 opportunities for creating
"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 other decorative elements. Some artists
may believe they can best demonstrate their knowledge of a range of techniques with wildly different pieces, but the display could end up looking disorienting instead of 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 forms with discretion. The easy
availability of stamps, texturizers, 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 artists for other types of displays such as shows or exhibits."