Preparing for the overhaul...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Creatin' Contest Fiasco--Enter At Your Own Risk!!!

It's the grand unveiling--my Creatin' Contest entry, the one that'll never get judged!  After hours of work and much excitement, I submitted my project.  If you're familiar with the contest, it requires four photos.  I sent one photo of each room, and two of the outside.  Based on my perusal of the photos available on their website, this seemed to be the norm.  Moreover, I felt especially confident in my photography skills, as these photos were also distinctly amateur.  And, in any case, this was, first, an amateur contest, and, second, a miniatures contest.

Imagine my surprise when, this morning, I got a call from a woman named Denise who started out with that most glorious of sentences, "Well, I really like your project, but I can tell you no one else will".  She went on to inform me both that I needed to take pictures from further away, and that my pictures didn't show enough close-up detail.  How was I supposed to do both at the same time, I asked?  Her answer included the words "suck", and the recommendation to hire a professional photographer.  She went on to complain about the background, etc, and how terrible everything was.  Having been told that my project wasn't judgeable because it was so bad, I politely ended the call.

Shame on you, Hobby Builder's Supply, for treating your customers this way and for turning what should be a fun, lighthearted opportunity for miniaturists to show off their work in to a shaming, negative, "nobody's good enough for us"-type contest.  This is no way to treat people who've worked so hard on their projects, and it's certainly no way to treat customers.  I can tell you, this company has most certainly lost my custom.

I hate to say this but, after reviewing my own work, and the pictures of it, and comparing it with other Creatin' Contest pictures, one explanation for Denise's condescending, angry attitude leaps to mind more than any other.  I could certainly be mistaken, but I got the distinct impression that she didn't believe I was, in fact, an amateur.  To be perfectly blunt, I don't think she believed I made this myself.  Her very negative characterization of my project seemed neither professional nor appropriate.  No, I'm certainly not claiming to be the best miniaturist in the world, but do I really deserve being told that none of the other judges will like my project, and that she's never seen pictures so bad?

So, since apparently I won't be getting considered in this year's Creatin' Contest, I decided to share my pictures--all of them, not just the four I submitted--with you.  

I thought it would be fun to make an historically accurate medieval blacksmith's forge out of what began as a 1950's era American roadside stand.  The name I gave it was The Forge at Yalding on Wye, 1194.  The (working) double chambered bellows, tool bench, etc are all based on period woodcuts.  Creating this forge--and everything that went in it--took extensive research.  If anyone's interested in learning more about specific components, or about the historical basis behind the project as a whole, let me know!






This specialized type of anvil is called a nailor's bench.



































The design for this platform bed comes 100% from my imagination, although platform beds were common during the middle ages.





Any thoughts?  I'd love some feedback--positive or negative!  Although, to be honest, I could use some encouragement.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

These are amazing! I'm no expert but the execution is outstanding...very intricate and you can tell you have an eye for detail.

Easier said than done but you shouldn't take her words to heart. Who knows what her agenda was but regardless, it's ridiculous that they would exclude anyone from even being considered from a contest like this, unless you had a legitimate reason to disqualify them, and even then there's no reason to be rude about it.

-Alisa

Lyssa said...

I think it's wonderful! I, also, am no expert, but I loved your entry. Sad that you had to have such an awful experience- and sad that you are not the first to have such (these specific circumstances are the first I've heard of though.)

Really, you did a stupendous job. I love the exterior and your entire concept. How original and unique! :)

To heck with them.

Tabitha Corsica said...

What a shame to work so hard on a project only to be told such things. Hard to know what kinds of pictures she was after but, from looking at photos of other contests, I am also confused.

Regardless, I think your piece is wonderfully executed with precise attention to detail. And so very different from what one usually sees in contests of this sort. Maybe that was the problem?

Perhaps it was just too overwhelming for her to take in, but I think it was wrong for one individual to decide it wasn't "judgable". Isn't that for the judges to decide? Just toss it in with the rest and let the chips fall...

Did you at least get your entrant's gift?

Pox on them, I say!

Daydreamer said...

WOW! What an AMAZING amount of Detail and careful execution! Not to mention Historical research and Imagination!! WOW is all I can say! Whatever their "judging parameters" were.... they obviously didn't have enough imagination to see that your Creation was Excellent and Unique!

Dark Squirrel Victoria said...

Shame on HBS. I hope this comes to the attention of the owners. I can't even imagine why they would make a phone call of that nature.
Your project is Awesome and professional looking.

Hugs,
Victoria

carmen said...

que fantástico trabajo!!

Lirael said...

Obviously this Denise was not in her right mind when she called you. The project looks great, really detailed and with a good historical background. Sure, the pictures aren't what you'd find in a magazine. But you can see perfectly well what you're work is about. And I totally agree with you: it is an amateur competition and it is about the miniatures and not the pictures!
Big hugs

Daphne said...

I think your project is wonderful. I don't know anything about forges but it sure looks realistic to me.

Are you absolutely certain that the person that phoned you was indeed with the company? That probably sounds silly but you never know...
You should maybe call and ask to speak to someone else...perhaps to the owners of the company and let them know how very rude this Denise was.

CJ said...

Everyone, thanks for the encouragement :-)

Daphne, yes, I am. I called back and spoke to customer service. The woman I spoke to knew this Denise, and verified that she was, in fact, one of the (apparently many) judges for the contest. Unfortunately, although she was sympathetic enough, her response was basically, "as a company, we are perfect".

otterine said...

Ugh...I would have been speechless. It's just appalling! I think you did a marvelous job and your idea is very creative. I couldn't see anything but a gas station with this structure, and you took it back to a time before gas stations. And, on top of that, I think your execution is marvelous, filled with a ton of detail. You can tell you did your homework. Bravo to you!

Lisa said...

UN-believeable! I just lost a WHOLE lot of respect for HBS. Your entry is unique and the attention to detail is phenominal. I always tell my children that their artwork is their own and no one has the right to tell them it is "no good" or "not good enough". This contest and any other "amateur" contest should be about learning new things, having fun, being proud of one's own work, and sharing with others. Winning is just a bonus. This Denise had NO right to call you with any kind of opinion, good or bad. Perhaps the contest is "fixed"? I think I shall take a walk over to their facebook page....

CJ said...

Lisa, I thought about posting a link to this post on their FB page, but decided that would be incendiary. Or maybe I just don't have enough guts. I really think, though, that if this happened to me, I can't be the only person it's happened to.

Giac said...

Hello CJ,
Your work is, quite frankly, of the highest quality I've seen. The pictures were clear and gave great views of the rooms. As for the work itself, there is no one who can touch you. I've consulted many books on tudor furniture and your room is period appripriate, very well executed and finished in great detail.
May I offer you my congratulations on an absolutely inspiring piece. I've looked at past contest winners, and frankly they tend to go for the "cute and fluffy" factor rather then craftsmanship and authenticity. You are a miniaturist, not someone who plays with dollhouses!

CJ said...

Giac, I think that's one of the nicest things anyone's ever said to me. Thank you so much! :-) I'm so glad you like my work.

Everyone, thank you SO, SO much for your inspiring and supportive words. It means a lot. You've all helped transform a negative, depressing experience into a very reaffirming one. Each and everyone of you has been nicer, and more complimentary, than I have any right to expect.

iseecerulean said...

Your project is fabulous! The detail is fantastic, the historical authenticity is marvelous. I can tell you put a lot of time and effort into piece, you should be proud.

I'm sorry you were treated so badly. I'm making a note now never to enter one of their contests.

De said...

I am very impressed with the quality of your work and the amount of detail. The time you put into researching this project is very obvious. Please don't be discouraged by one person's misguided opinion.

Irene said...

I have just discovered your blog and spent a very pleasant couple of hours reading through it, getting more and more impressed as I went. To get to the most up to date post and read that your entry had been denigrated in this way is, in my opinion, shocking and extremely hurtful.

Your entry showed imagination and skill and the photographs were extremely clear. If word gets out that this is the way entrants are treated, it would be surprising to hear if there were any at all putting themselves forward for this sort of treatment in next year's competition!

Now that I've found it, I shall be following your blog with great interest. Irene
http://the-tenement.blogspot.com/

Toni said...

I found your blog this morning through Giac's blog.
Even looking at their catalog and store site, I agree that HBS is into cute, fluffy and modern. A well researched, historically accurate period piece might be something they cannot appreciate.
Your pictures and the project are absolutely wonderful. I am just glad you have a blog where miniature fanatics like me can enjoy it and be inspired by it! So please, be very, very encouraged. For each person on here who has made a favorable comment, there are probably ten more who have seen your wonderful work and are just as thrilled as we are.
Keep on keepin' on!

Cyndy said...

WOW - excuse me while I get my jaw back into place. This is fantastic work - well done!

Denise may think she speaks for everyone, but she definitely does not speak for me. Whether she considered your entry worthy or not, it was an entry and therefore should have been considered.

Don't let this get you down!

dollhouse miniature said...

It can be difficult to remember when looking at these photographs that you are actually seeing a miniature.

Joel said...

Hi, Nice post. Would you please consider adding a link to my website on your page. Please email me.

Thanks!

Joel Houston
JHouston791@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I'm working on a project with my son regarding Colonial Blacksmith Shop. Your piece has tremendously helped us. Sorry for the contest stuff but 2yrs later I'm sure you are well over it. Thanks for the ideas

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog and am enthusiastically reading through it. Your contest entry was amazing -way too good for HBS. It looks like it should be in a museum. The historical detail is wonderful and well-implemented, and the idea is very creative.
Now I've got to continue reading the rest of your blog entries. Thank you for sharing.