View Full Version : Critique Documents Sticky

Ken Fitzgerald
04-15-2007, 11:22 AM
As requested, here the the Critique "Rules" document for use when serving as a mentor. This was written by Christopher K. Hartley.

Read First When Requesting Project Critiques

These guidelines are the composite work of the members of the Turning Forum. They are established to promote the ongoing Learning, Skill Development and Fun for all those who would elect to participate in seeking constructive critiques of their work. Within this process there are two areas of responsibility. The first is the responsibility of the person requesting a critique(referred to as Student from this point on) and the second is the responsibility of the person giving the critique(referred to as Mentor from this point on) . Both of these individual responsibilities will be addressed here for the purpose of establishing clarity, understanding and unity of purpose.

Student Responsibility and Expectations(Your Commitment):

When you submit a project for critique enter the words "Critique Requested" in the subject line. Only those posts containing this identifier will fall under this program. This identifier will indicate that you know and understand the parameters of this process and give the Mentors the liberty to openly and honestly critique your project.

Provide a clear description of the project to include: Dimensions, Wood Type, Sanding grits used, finish used.

State any specific challenges you faced.

In the body of your request, state any artistic goal or objective or vision you had in mind for the project. Without this information the Mentor may not have a clear picture of your objective and call in question something that you intended to be a part of the project. Remember some things tend to be more subjective than objective in nature.

Provide pictures as clear as you are able to take. there should be a top view, bottom view and side view. This is not a display picture. the picture should be as close as possible and with no attempt to hide flaws in the work.

When requesting a critique be more ready to listen than to defend. If your intent is merely to display a work for comments of encouragement use the normal approach and do not ask for a critique.

Trust your Mentors, in the majority of cases those Mentors who comment will have experienced what they comment on and have experience in overcoming that obstacle. Be teachable. Always remember that there are no negatives or failures only opportunities for improvement.

Be willing to unlearn and re-learn if necessary.

Feel good that you have taken the steps to improve and develop your skill.

Mentor Responsibility and Expectations(Your Commitment):

Anyone can step into this role. You can be a student and be a mentor as well. Just as we all have things we excel in, we all have areas for improvement. Comment only on those things you know you have developed skill or knowledge in. To be credible with the Student we must have integrity.

Be Humble, remember you once were where they are.

Be Honest, You can tell someone almost anything as long as they feel that you have their best interest at heart. Holding back the truth is more hurtful than helpful. the issue is how that truth is shared.

In giving a critique, there may be multiple areas for improvement. Identify the areas but have the student focus on the one or two that will bring the greatest impact first. Don't let a student become overwhelmed with four or five areas to work on. If another Mentor has identified something, don't repeat it unless you can add more depth or a different perspective.

As a Mentor it is ok to ask a student if they are willing to accept an assignment to adjust or develop a skill.

Use the Sandwich Technique when assessing a student's work. (Start with a plus, address the area for improvement, end on a positive)

Sometimes there is more than one right answer or approach. Be flexible.

Always remember, true mentors are not those who accept the title nor those who are assigned to the position. We truely only become Mentors when those we serve choose us as Mentors.

Bill Wyko
04-17-2007, 12:49 AM
I know I'm new at this but I don't think you could have said it better. Done this way everyone stands to gain from this.

Ken Fitzgerald
04-17-2007, 9:46 AM
Bill.....Thank Christopher Hartley..........He wrote this and asked me to post it as a sticky so it'll remain here for all to see.


Bruce Shiverdecker
04-17-2007, 2:07 PM
Great job Ken. Looks like you covered it to a T.


Dennis Peacock
04-17-2007, 3:15 PM
Great job Chris and Ken....very well written and very clear.

Brian Weick
10-02-2007, 2:10 PM
Ken & Chris ~ very well done! great job!

George Guadiane
02-05-2008, 3:40 PM
Those guidelines will help!

John Shuk
02-05-2008, 4:49 PM
Now you need to put this up as a sticky.

Ben Gastfriend
02-05-2008, 5:29 PM
Those are some good guidelines- thank you both for your dedication.

Brian Brown
02-06-2008, 12:20 AM
I'm really glad to see this back up as a sticky. This provides some excellent guidelines.

Hilel Salomon
02-08-2008, 7:48 PM
Great Job,

Clear, precise and humane. This could easily apply to students and teachers in every field.

Peter Lamb
02-21-2009, 9:16 PM
Thank you very much for your most excellant effort to say nothing about your time!

Shawn Pixley
01-01-2010, 12:08 PM
I like it a lot! The only thing I might offer for consideration is the avoidance of a critique of "Style A vs Style B." I have seen this in music making forums and it typically ends badly. There, no one gained from a discussion (typically a flame war) on the superiority of Bluegrass to Nu-Metal (drawing a extreme example),

Here, I enjoy the civility and intelligent discourse. I would hate to see a flame war start around the superiority of Stickely style to Art Moderne. I do think that discussion and critique of adherance or "trueness" to style might be perfectly acceptable.

I put this forward for your learned consideration