The Sussex Guild
The Selection Process
The Sussex Guild warmly welcomes applications from designer makers working in East and West Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Kent.
The Selection Committee, a panel of eight Guild members, meets four times a year to assess applicants’ work. These members have a range of craft disciplines and backgrounds. However, should an unusual technique or craft be presented of which they have little knowledge, they call in specialist advisors.
The work submitted by each applicant is discussed at length and is very thoroughly and carefully examined. The Selection Committee is constantly aiming to improve the standard of work in the Guild and is looking therefore for high levels of craftsmanship and design.
Applications are accepted all year round, however the Selection Committee meet quarterly and the deadline for applications to those meetings are:
January Selection meeting – deadline for applications 20th December of the previous year
April Selection meeting – deadline for applications 20th March
July Selection meeting – deadline for applications 20th June
October Selection meeting – deadline for applications 20th September
Applications received after the deadline will be invited to the very next meeting unless there is a high number of applications, then applicants may have to wait until the meeting with spaces.
Above all the Guild is looking for quality, expertise and good design. All applicants are judged on the following:
Craftsmanship: how well does the applicant handle the materials and techniques of their craft and is the standard sufficiently high for the Guild? See “Applying for membership” below.
Design Skills: these are extremely important but, of course, highly subjective. What one person considers good design another may consider poor or unattractive. This is where having eight panel members is invaluable – each member has an opinion – though it is surprising how often the decision to accept or reject an applicant is unanimous.
Originality: another very important consideration. The Guild is looking for work that is obviously made by the applicant and is fresh, vibrant and not merely work that imitates. The committee likes to see, in the support material submitted (sketchbooks etc), evidence of original, creative thinking.
Enrich and Enhance: how well does the work enrich and enhance the standard of work produced in the Guild.
Online: all applicants are required to have either a website or a professional online presence.
The Selection Committee reaches its decision by majority vote. The decision is final and cannot be appealed.
Applying for Membership
As a first step, we would recommend visiting a Sussex Guild show before applying to join the Guild. There is good reason for this – each applicant is judged against the best 50% of the members of the Guild. It would be wise to look at the standard of work of the existing members to see if you are working to an equivalent level.
If you decide to go ahead with an application, simply return your form plus the fee of £25.00, at which point arrangements will be made to view 6 – 12 pieces of your work. The more ‘evidence’ you can present, the easier it will be for the committee to make an informed decision. Support materials such as CVs, photographic prints/slides, sketchbooks and any other form of visual materials should be included. (CD Roms are not really applicable, as we do not have appropriate computer facilities at the Selection Meeting.)
Download the application form and related information and follow the instructions.
If you are invited to join The Sussex Guild, membership is provisional for a year, during which time you are expected to exhibit with the Guild on two occasions. At the end of the year the selection committee either:
- Confers full membership.
- Renews provisional membership for a further year.
- Withdraws any offer of membership.
If an applicant is unsuccessful at the initial application, the chairman of the selection committee will write to him/her, explaining clearly the Guild’s decision.
In some instances, the committee may recommend that an applicant re-apply at a later date, if a significant improvement in the work can be seen.
Annual Fee and Guild Show Fees
The current annual subscription for full or provisional membership is £115.
Each Sussex Guild show has a different fee. This is shown on the booking forms, made available in January.
There is usually a booking fee of £30.00 per event and the full fee is payable nearer to the date of each show.
The selection committee feels that it is important to safeguard the good name and reputation of The Sussex Guild. To this end, the committee continues to monitor work on display at shows. This is to ensure that all members are exhibiting the same craft for which they were accepted and that the standard of the work remains high.