>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 
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

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 
philosophical conversations badly in need of a couple of beers.

Alban, non-drinker, dammit.