I have done just a smattering of judging. The current three A&S Champions (including me) chose winners informally at Yule. I sat in on judge deliberations at Kingdom A&S. I judged, using formal sheets, at both Stromgard’s and Dragon’s Mist Championship.
Part of me loves absolutely everything, but the perfectionist in me always sees the cracks in the finish. The tricky bit is to tease out good from bad, while encouraging future growth. If people only ever tell me how great I am, I will never understand that my tunic is on backwards and my necklace is a forbidden color. Finding the elusive perfect way to constructively criticize – while helping the artisan feel good about the amazing job they did – is tough. I’m working on it. I have to admit that right now I tend to hold everyone (myself included) to too high a standard, and I am attempting to deliberately rein myself in.
Eulalia wrote a terrific piece on judging – intelligently informed by her experiences as a teacher – and her approach is my goal as a judge.