A&S Orders and making recommendations to the Crown

A question to the Kingdom A&S Minister, Master Philip White:

“My friend makes really awesome work! Everyone loves what they do! Their art is beautiful and gets lots of praise and recognition. Everyone wants to own one of their pieces. Shouldn’t they be a Silver Broach? Or a Maunche? Or a Laurel?”

A reply from the Minister:

Maybe?

Ultimately, award recognition is up to the Royalty. To make their decisions, they do rely on recommendations by their populace and by members of their orders. So, how’s that work?

Recommendations and the endorsement of candidates rely on a number of factors.

These factors are not all equal. Some Royals value some factors over other factors. Likewise, existing Order members and populace members will also value some factors over other factors.

Let me state that again.

Everyone sees these things differently. The different Crowns and the members of the Orders and the populace all have different feelings and expectations. There is no easy answer.

I sympathize with those who find this frustrating. I find it frustrating too.

I want to try and help with that here.

How individuals achieve these factors varies from person to person and from art to art. Sometimes a candidate is strong in one aspect and weaker in another aspect.

But, somehow, they come together to make a compelling case to members of the populace who make the recommendations, members of the Orders who endorse them, and the Royals who decide upon them.

I know there are people who wish there was an easier way to go about this. That we had a checklist or a rubric that would help people understand expectations and in order to help set goals.

At least in my opinion, recommendations are really much more of an art than a science.
So, to help with that, there are many questions you can ask yourself when writing an award recommendation, including but not limited to:

* Are they showing expertise?
* Do they have a good understanding of materials and practices?
* Are they attempting difficult works?
* Are they able to reproduce the same quality of work repeatedly?
* Are their works well researched?
* Have they added or extended to the research available?
* Do they understand the cultural/political/social context of their works?
* Do they teach?
* Do they share information in order ways?
* Are they examples of positive behavior?
* Are they encouraging other artisans?
* Are they a good judge of other artisans and their works?
* Are they serving through the arts?

All of this information can help the Orders in endorsing candidates and can help the Royals make their final decision. If you’re writing a recommendation, answering these questions and including examples supporting your responses will help.

Reasonably, a Silver Broach candidate will achieve a few of these, and, perhaps to a lesser extent. A Maunche candidate would likely fit well for more of these and to a higher degree. And a Laurel candidate would be a great example of a number of these factors. Only a rare individual would have all of these and maybe more.

I do not write these as requirements. They are not an exhaustive list.

If you meet existing members of any of these Orders they will share with you how they all have very individual expectations. They will tell you want they want to see in order to add their support to a candidate.

I fully expect people to add where they agree and where they disagree with this post. I expect them to say what was missed or what should be added or what should be removed. That’s okay!

Everyone is different. The candidates are different. The members of the Orders are different. The Royalty is different.

And that is okay. Differences can make us stronger. That’s what can advance our knowledge base and improve our proficiency.

Remember… Have fun! Learn! Teach!

Your Servant to Command,
~p.w.