Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Fair Update - Mixed Results

Well, I have to start by saying that I am a little bit disappointed in the results at the fair. Fire Flower was my main piece, and it got nothing. After looking at the other needlework entered this year - and I think there was substantially less than last year - I am pretty sure it was so far out of class for the entries, that the judges had no idea what to make of it - so they ignored it. There are only 3 categories for cross stitch at this fair - 14ct or less, 16-18ct, and 19ct or greater, and I saw all three 1st place pieces. One was Fish City, and I assume it was in the 19ct or Greater category - it was a huge piece, so I could be wrong, but at any rate, it was pretty awesome:
Another 1st place winner was a rendition of one of Van Gogh's Starry Night's. Now, the work was very nicely done, well framed, but the conversion itself was really, really not very nice - the yellows were all green, and it was very, very blocky and cartoony. So I'm not sure what the judges were going for on this piece, unless sheer size is what won the category? I think it was in the 16-18 category, with my FF (32ct over/2). I didn't take a picture of it - I was getting left behind. It's finished size was about half of Fish City, slightly bigger than FF, with matting and framing. I would guess the stitch count to be a bit less than my FF, if that had anything to do with it....

But I do have to wonder who was doing the judging by the 3rd category 1st place winner (which I also did not take a picture of). It was a very small piece, maybe 4x5, on 14 or 11ct aida. It was a very simple piece, some religious piece that I didn't fully grasp, something with a cross and I assume a piece of scripture. It was cartoonish, too - not primitive, just kind of crude and back-woods-ish, if you know what I mean - like a $2 kit from the Dollar Store, made in China. But what absolutely kills me is the condition of the piece; it was chock full of creases, from hoop or in hand, I don't know, and the dollar-store frame it was in, it was not even centered or stretched - I think they just laid it on the frame, and put the back whatever on, and called it good. And it won 1st place???? We were all stumped - the boys both just looked at me and said "You didn't win anything? With that? How can that be?" Which I took to be quite shocking to them, since they pretty much ignore my works. So I am going to ease my bruised ego with the fact that I must have exceeded the sophistication level of the N. GA Fair with my piece, which with the positive/negative idea alone, made it at least as difficult a work as Fish City, even if it was only 1 color. Personally, I'm stumped...

As for my other 7 entries, I did place 5 - my jewelry, my sister's 2006 Christmas present (long story) took 1st in the Jewelry category. I wasn't that pleased with this piece, to be quite honest, and may actually modify it again before I send it to my sister - but another thing I didn't get - there was only 1 jewelry category, and there were 2 First Place pieces, as well as a second & third. Mine this year and this other 1st place were definitely not on par with last year's entries - I'm wondering if the gas & economy issues kept a lot of participants away? Anyway, 1 of my 3 pics got a 3rd place, and I thought for sure my dragonfly would have placed, too, but it didn't. My set of 4 Dragon Dreams ornies placed 2nd in the 4-ornie Category, and my single Wiehenberg ornie placed 3rd in the 1-ornie category - they both were the only stitched ornaments. My little purple Grumpy Dragon flatfold won 3rd in the 14ct Category (losing to that wrinkled mess???). I have an album set up with all the pictures I took last night - exhibits and attractions - here: http://rifestitch.multiply.com/photos/album/54/N._GA_Fair_2008

So, I placed 5 out of 8 entries, but wow, the competition, from my biased view, was not what it was last year, and neither was the judging, from what I saw. If only my FF had fit the size limitation for the more-local fair (which is a much more affluent part of town) - I think I could have done much better there, but FF was 1/8" too big to go there :( So I will do some rethinking about next year and see if I can't get some stuff framed to fit in the other fair's size requirements. And if nothing else, I will have several entries into Silkweaver's Showcase this year, since I WILL FINISH Bouquet for Cheryl and The Castle and Halloween Fairy. I will also have a Long Dog finish not too far off, though I suspect not in time for this year's showcase. And suddenly, I've become a glory hound - how did that happen?? I don't mean to come off that way, but I guess it does sound like that, doesn't it? I am really just amazed that the works entered this year, aside from Fish City, were so 1990's; it's like the shrinkage we've seen in needlework stores and supplies has also affected the quality of work being done around here - something I am NOT in favor of, as you might imagine. At the very least, I have hoped that the last couple of years' exhibits have exposed more people to this craft, in an attempt to keep it from dying; I think I missed the mark this year - or I'm too late here....

1 comment:

CeeJay said...

A newcomer to your site, and I am quite stumped as to why you didn't place. The piece that was wrinkled would have been consigned to the trash barrel at the MN State Fair.
My very serious suggestion. Apply for the judging honors. Your qualifications are evidently far superior than the works awarded ribbons.
Seriously! Check it out, mention the discrepancies and present your qualifications. You would not be able to enter, but you will be able to make sure entries are correctly displayed, fairly judged and ribbons given for quality work.