Response to M. Eleanor Deyson’s Post

Is Calontir’s Kingdom Arts and Science Champion the best artisan in the Kingdom? Is that the competition’s intent?

In her May 2, 2010 post M. Eleanor Deyeson stated she believes the entrants must aspire to that before they enter. I disagree with my respected compeer.

Calontir’s Kingdom Arts and Science FAQ page states:

This is the competition that determines the Kingdom of Calontir’s Arts and Sciences Champion for the year. This person will champion the arts and sciences in Calontir and will represent the Kingdom to the Known World in foreign competitions and wars. For the next year the Champion will wear the Champion’s baldric and will get to keep the Champion’s Scroll on which the names of all prior Champions are written. 

This competition is held in conjunction with Tri-Levels and is open to all artisans. Each hopeful must enter three advanced level arts and/or sciences in three separate categories (no one can enter more than one of any one thing). The judging is face-to-face with three judges and is stricter than Tri-Levels judging. The entrants compete against each other.

No mention is made of the Champion being the best Kingdom artisan. It does say the winner will represent the Kingdom’s arts and sciences to others, especially to foreign Kingdoms. 

I believe it is possible to represent Calontir’s arts and sciences without being the best. Having passed the strenuous judging gauntlet the Champion knows well its process. The Champion knows how to make three items well, write detailed documentation for each one, and answer experts’ questions. These are not easily done. 

My entries the year I lost.

My challenge with entering has been having three well-done entries with unrelated skill sets. I easily have calligraphy and illumination. They can have separate skill sets, depending on how they are created. The third entry was always my test, especially documenting it and describing reasonable alternatives I used in its recreation.

My third entry would also probably be a new craft for me and possibly others in Calontir. If you are the only person recreating that craft in the kingdom, you would then be the best. That makes it difficult to have three knowledgeable judges to evaluate your work.

I know people who enter for the ultimate judging challenge, which it is in Calontir. Some enter different crafts than they have before, also for the challenge. If my Laurel, M. Agnes de Lanvallei, hadn’t encouraged me to enter my artisan prowess would have remained untested.

I didn’t think I was the best when I entered–I’ve entered twice and won once–because I am my harshest critic. In my opinion, my entries were better the time I lost than when I won, and both years had five entrants. That shows winning depends greatly on your competitors’ entries.

Entering Calontir’s Kingdom Arts and Sciences Championship Competition has a different meaning to each entrant. The whole Championship experience, from items created through the following year, is greater than anyone’s internal vision and worth taking on the challenge.

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