Forums General Discussion Pre-Master? How about Journeyman?


  • Pre-Master? How about Journeyman?

    Posted by Eric Hoffman on January 4, 2020 at 11:51 pm

    So, one of the things that’s always bugged me about the Single Stone Contest was the name of the second tier: Pre-Master. To me, it doesn’t sound like a title a cutter can proudly wear so much as a “you’re half-way to something else” statement. Could we come up with something better? How about Journeyman? Expert?

    I’m sure some are fine with ‘Pre-Master’, and others just don’t want to change it. While I do value tradition, I’m definitely not the kind of person who accepts “we’ve always done it that way” as a reason to continue. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

    mr-john replied 4 years, 6 months ago 5 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Alan Balmer

    January 5, 2020 at 12:42 am

    Interesting thoughts. I’ll ask the competition committee to read your post.

  • Faceting 101 (Arya Akhavan)

    January 5, 2020 at 1:10 am

    Hey Eric, I totally agree. There’s a good chunk of us who never really liked the name “Pre-Master”.

    I’ve been on the competition committee for 6 years. When we were voting on increasing the number of categories (I think in 2015), there was a group of us who wanted to go to 4 categories, with a 5th category that would be held once every few years and would require multiple designs cut in different materials. They would have been Novice, Journeyman, Expert, Master, and Grand Master. At that point, most people agreed with changing to 5 categories and having the above names, but the late Will Smith was not a fan.

    I’m happy to propose the name change again, after we release all the 2020 stuff. I don’t know if this year’s competition committee would be interested in adding the 5th category.


  • Eric Hoffman

    January 5, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    Hey there Arya!

    While I wouldn’t oppose a 5th tier, that would mean you’d have to decide how to grandfather in existing Pre-Master cutters. Would they be Journeymen (Journeypeople hehe) or Expert? I guess much of that would factor in where the Competition Committee sees that new tier being inserted (i.e., is it more or less difficult than the current Pre-Master tier?).

    The other issue would simply be logistics: If USFG is having trouble getting volunteers to be stone graders, than a new tier might (or might not) be an additional load on the graders and facilitators.

    If there’s no new tier, I think I tend towards Journeyman (gender specificity aside) because Expert just seems closer to Master than Journeyman, if that makes any sense. I thought that even before seeing your 5-tier proposal, which has the same idea built in.

  • thomasreeves

    January 5, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Makes more sense than premaster as novice and beginners are also premasters.

  • Alan Balmer

    January 5, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    From a data maintenance point of view (the website database of certified faceters), there’s no problem with renaming the categories. Adding a fifth column would not be a problem unless you name it Grand Master. We have certified Grand Masters already, and a higher class with the same name would be problematic.

  • mr-john

    January 11, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    I’ll put my 2-cents worth in to rename to Expert. It makes good sense and it’s something most folks can easily recognize as better than Novice, but not yet a Master. And honestly, when a person qualifies at that level, wouldn’t those in the faceting community agree that they are experts at the craft?

    I’m not opposed to Journeyman, but it’s a little ambiguous, especially when there’s no comparison to rankings such as Apprentice.

    Novice – Expert – Master – Grand Master

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