>But you have taught classes. I have been in some of them. Some sort of teaching is >a requirement for advancement. Competitions is but one means of making folks aware >of the level and quality of your work. Well, yeah. I guess that was part of my point. Not everyone teaches. Not everyone enters competition. Not everyone gets published. I worry about the "one from column A and one from column B" syndrome - teach five classes or enter three local competitions or one kingdom competition or take on four students, or any other formal but unspoken checklist for Advancement In the Award Structure of Calontir. ....but I would hazard a guess that most of the not-older-than-dirt people (like, oh, I dunno, you and me) would think that to get a mallet or a swan you've got to enter some competitions, because they're well publicized and "hey, Lord Who-dat-guy entered three, and immediately got a Mallet!" They're a fast way to get attention, but not everyone's made out for competing; I wasn't, and I still twitch at the thought of entering one. I much prefer showing my stuff to people whose opinion I trust - you for metalworking, Magda for costuming, Rhianwen for tent-making, and so forth - rather than put out a couple of items and get a vast range of comments. Ditto for teaching: there's nothing more enjoyable for me than to talk fealty with one or two people at a post-revel or at a feast; classes are so....so... formal. I guess my point is, competitions and teaching are good ways at catching the Worthy Folk who happen to like competing and teaching. How, then, do we go about catching those whose art or science is well-made, well-researched, and totally period, but does it quietly, one piece at a time, talking to individuals, getting advice from friends, and, (sorry for the bad grammar) we only get to see them work very quietly in the background but suddenly we notice how great they are? It's akin to the service thang: how many heralds have slaved over books to get submissions done, and they get a Torse only after someone figures out half the kingdom got their devices passed because of that guy in Outer Fenwick? It's a question that's been asked for <mumble> years, and I have yet to hear a good answer. I suspect there isn't one, but it sure does make for some long-winded philosophical conversations badly in need of a couple of beers. Alban, non-drinker, dammit.