I’ve been in my element these last couple of days, working with a group of very talented and enthusiastic women and training them to become NFWI Craft Judges. It’s not as easy as you might think, for not only do they have to have a wealth of knowledge and experience of as many crafts as you can imagine, they have to be able to identify and give credit for whatever skills and techniques they come across in the exhibit they are asked to judge.
Each item has to be assessed objectively and marks awarded for different aspects - design, use of colour, the choice of materials, the techniques and workmanship and of course, the presentation.
Advice is offered in the form of an encouraging comment and eventually, a winner has to be found.
All of this has to be done in around four minutes. It takes skill and practice of course. We’ve been working together since the start of the course in March, working online after an initial workshop, mostly chatting in Facebook and by email, but trying out webinars too.
But however good the technology is, there’s nothing like meeting face to face and working as a group in a classroom. In an online environment, it’s very hard to replicate the fun, camaraderie and friendship of learning together and the mutual support and shared success provides a foundation on which solid friendships are built.
There’s also a bunch of old friends sitting on the sidelines, cheering everyone on. Unless they get bored and fall asleep, that is.