Prospective Guild Members

Application to the Guild

To apply for membership, you will need to provide us with evidence of your level of work, a master-piece writing instrument you have made. This could be a new pen design you have created, a new technique you have brought to pen making, something taken to a new level of perfection, or something done in a very artistic way. We would like to see your pen that is not only new but also beautiful (and, of course, functional). Please notice the repeated use of the word 'new'. Clearly an element of unique creativity is required. Just use of a beautiful stabilized blank in a kit pen is not sufficient. We are looking for an example of your work that shows you are using advanced, innovative, and artistic skills.

Preparation and selection of a pen for a submission

Please review some examples of past successful submissions to help you better understand our definition of "advanced" pen making. A review of the photo gallery will also show you the caliber of some of our members' work. But realize, the photo gallery is the general photo storage area for this group and does not contain only masterpieces. Very few people turn out masterpieces every time!

Although your masterpiece can be similar to another pen, it should not be an exact copy of someone else's work. Your pen needs to add something new and original to the design. It needs to demonstrate that you are an advanced and creative pen maker who has gone beyond the flawless execution of kits as they were designed. It should show your creative adaptation or a special technique not commonly seen. Technical expertise and perfection of the execution are absolute prerequisites for a masterpiece submission. Think of it like in a medieval guild sense. It should have everything you can do in terms of fit an finish. It's more than just a demo or proof of concept, it should be a masterpiece! Please remember that what counts is the final pen, not the explanation of the difficulties overcome in its creation. Most applicants to the guild have been turning pens for more than a few months and have developed the necessary skills. Typically, the submitted pen will be specifically made as a masterpiece for applying to the guild.

The Application Pen

While not a requirement, we suggest that you not show and discuss the application pen in a public forum beforehand. Previous publicity of a piece of work will hamper the anonymity of the work during the judging process. If this suggestion is followed, only the application coordinator will know the applicant's identity. Their identity is not shared until the conclusion of judging. We want to judge the work based on the submission alone, not the maker's prior work, or the prevailing public opinion of the maker or that piece of work (good or bad). If we feel we cannot judge a pen that has been discussed elsewhere, we reserve the right to return the pen without judging it for admission.

Submitting the work

The application coordinator is a rotating responsibility. Please email the current Application Coordinator for a shipping address when you are ready to put it in the mail. You may also contact them with specific questions regarding the mechanics of submission. When you send us your pen please use appropriate packaging to protect it. The option of insuring your package is up to you. Please include return postage with your submission. USPS Priority Mail is the easiest method for prompt return, tracking, and ease of price calculation. You can determine if you'd like to insure your return shipment and what value you'd like. Also include a description of your pen, and why you think your work is unique. Please send that description by email to save retyping! While taking great care with your submission, the application coordinator and the Guild can assume no responsibility for the submission pen during the process.

The Judging Process

When your pen is received, the application coordinator will photograph the pen and distribute photos and your description to the other council members. The pen will be reviewed and discussed by all. At the conclusion, they will vote on the application. The applicant is generally only known to the application coordinator. The pen is usually kept by the application coordinator until the conclusion of the voting. This allows any questions brought up during the process to be answered by taking additional photos to be shared, examining the pen in greater detail, or having the application coordinator pose questions to the maker. At the conclusion of the review and voting, usually a week to 10 days after receipt of the pen, the results are communicated to the applicant and the pen is shipped back to the applicant.

The Results

If the applicant is accepted, a communication is sent to the new member with instructions on how to setup their gallery on the Penmakers Guild Website. Once implemented, the new member has full privileges to control their gallery and participate in the forums with postings. If the applicant is rejected, a communication will try to share points that should be considered by the maker. These are a courtesy as there is no "here is why" explanation. The applicant is encouraged to submit again. There is no limit to the number of times an applicant can submit so please don't be discouraged if you are rejected. It often takes several submissions until success.

Not Ready Yet?

If you don't think you can meet the requirements for the guild at this time, please do consider the Yahoo Penturners Group, IAP, or the the Pen Shop, which are open to all and geared toward building and perfecting basic and intermediate pen-making skills.