November 10, 2019 at 1:02 pm #5808
The loss of stones themselves though unfortunate is not I’d be concerned about. Rather had the stones been graded/evaluated prior to or after their disappearance and was the record for each submission also lost? Will these poor folks have to recur and resubmit their entries?November 10, 2019 at 1:59 pm #5809
Michaelnoetzol, Sorry, mine was in a different category.November 10, 2019 at 4:20 pm #5813
Howard R. Bromley, MDParticipant@howardbromley
I, too, am on the Board of Directors and Competition Committee and this is the first that I’ve heard of this issue. It will be looked into ASAP.
Howard BromleyNovember 10, 2019 at 4:32 pm #5814
Faceting 101 (Arya Akhavan)Keymaster@aryaakhavan
I’m on the board of directors as well as the competition committee, and this is the first I’ve heard of this as well. Let me send some emails.November 10, 2019 at 5:01 pm #5815
Regretfully, the Novice class stones have been lost in the mail. We have contacted the Postal Inspection Service (federal police) and the Los Angeles Police department about this. They are both actively working to look for the package that contained the stones. I have also contacted a private detective friend and asked for his help.
Part of the reason for this loss has to do with procedures which have never existed until now. The SSC used to be run by the good old boys who handled things the best way they knew how, but without a written procedure. That procedure has now been created and once approved by our officers and board it will hopefully resolve all of the issues that have shown themselves in the past few weeks.
Regarding the reason that we have not released the results of the SSC for all other divisions, this information has always been released in the December newsletter. We will be returning the stones, the certificates and the awards for the other divisions in the next few days. The primary reason that they have not been returned till now is that the Pre-Master, Master and Grand Master stones have just finished being judged and it takes time to make out certificates and recreate and produce the awards for the top 3 places. I was hoping that the Novice stones would show up in the mean time so we could release everything at one time.
I still have hope that the Novice stones will be found so that they can be judged and eventually be returned.
Tom Mitchell, President
United States Faceters GuildNovember 10, 2019 at 5:06 pm #5816
Thanks Tom for the update. To all I can ensure you this has been taken very seriously. We hate that it happened and Tom has been doing everything possible to rectify the situation. As he stated, the hope was that the stones would show up prior to the others being ready to ship out (which they have recently). It is very unfortunate. For all who entered the Novice category you will receive more detailed information very soon – but know again all that can be done is being done. Thanks to those above who have supported the USFG which as mentioned is run entirely be volunteers who put in considerable hours (days, weeks) into this organization and have for years.November 10, 2019 at 6:13 pm #5820
There are some heated comments going on here. It sounds like the stones were stolen or lost by the Post Office. That makes it their fault not the USFG. Although the entrants put a lot of time & effort in their stones, they have very little commercial value. Having them insured wouldn’t do anything if the stones went missing before they were judged. The only thing I see so far is that they should have announced the stones were missing when they were sure they weren’t going to show up. I say the USFG should get the facts and give a full report as soon as possible. Until then I wouldn’t want to lay blame on anyone. I view the SSC as one of the great values for a beginning faceter to join the USFG. I’d hate to see this ruin a good thing for all faceters.November 10, 2019 at 6:52 pm #5821
I am only wanting the truth exposed and the more I find out about the committee not being informed it doesn’t sound good. We have been asking for the facts for a month. Further I was told my stone would be returned on Oct 11 and I waited almost a month and was wondering if it was lost also. At least they are trying to establish a policy for such events and hopefully for proper shipping such as signature required. My wife isn’t upset at the loss of her stone or the 30-40 hours (3 stones) but the handling and lack of news. Mine gets returned Monday and now she’s mad at me. LOL. I was hoping to get to masters certification and help judge and pay back the greats ( Al Whitney, John Alden, Vern Johnson and Fred Van Sant) who got me started years ago now that I’m retired. We’ll see.November 10, 2019 at 6:56 pm #5822
Good day to all! And are there any results, or will they be in the December issue?November 10, 2019 at 7:47 pm #5823
The full results will be published in the December NL along with full transparency of the Novice situation. Hopefully the post office will find the stones. Stones in categories Pre-Master – Grand Master were shipped and some have received shared their information.November 10, 2019 at 9:23 pm #5826
I have been following this discussion for two days now, I have read some harsh words directed at the volunteers who run the competition.
I joined USFG exclusively for the stone competition, My stone was lost BOO-HOO !
We should not focus on blame, but see if we can come to some resolution.
Do we want to. or do we have time to submit new stones? My greatest loss is being denied the opportunity to win this years competition.November 10, 2019 at 9:30 pm #5827
A little understanding guys. Crap happens. If I had a stone entered in the novice class, I can only enter the I would be upset as well. I am sure the USFG will be fair to all that entered that class. If the stones have not been judge I am sure adequate time will be allowed to cut another stone to be judged. My experience is that a better stone can be cut the 2nd time around. The last time I competed in the USFG I cut at least 3 or more stones before I was satisfied with what I entered.November 10, 2019 at 11:54 pm #5828
To clarify regarding the involvement of the competition committee, these are the people who choose and test cut the stones before they are published as the official contest designs. Once the contest is announced, the contest committee’s involvement ends. The stones then become the responsibility of the judging committee which includes the stone handler, the judges and myself. Procedures for the judging committee have never been formalized till this incident. I personally took part in the judging activities for the Pre-Master, Master, and Grand Master stones so that I could begin documenting the process.
The judging of these stones was done by our head judge Ewing Evans and with his encouragement we also used this session as a judge training and certification session. Mr. Evans is a five time individual winner of the Australian International Faceting Challenge. He has indicated the need to train judges for some time and thankfully we were able to make it happen. Our judges have been doing this work since the USFG started. They have been establishing procedures and improving upon them ever since. But nothing has ever been written down till now.
We used to have three judges, each in different parts of the country, who shared the judging duties. But one of our judges announced his retirement only weeks before the judging was to begin. So I contacted Mr. Evans and several other Master and Grand Master level cutters to see if they could join the session. Two people agreed to meet on short notice. Regretfully one of then could only participate for a few hours of this five day session. Had the remaining two of us not been there to help in the process, Mr. Evans indicated that he would only be able to complete two stones per day. The judging procedure is very time consuming and requires extensive paperwork.
Because of this training session I assigned the majority of the stones to Mr. Evans. Having been through the judging process I had a idea how long it took to do the work. So when I got back from the training session I took a few days to create the certificates and design the awards, before calling the second judge to see how he was doing and if he needed help only to find out that he had not het received the stones. I then contacted the stone handler and learned the Novice stones were first sent to the wrong address because the post office worker misread the address. The person at that address was kind enough to return the stones. The stone handler then then informed me that he had typed out the address and given it to the postmaster who again sent the stones out. This time the postmaster neglected to put tracking on them. I then waited a few more days and called the second judge to find out that he had moved and was no longer at his original address. So there it is. The stones are in limbo and two policing agencies are looking for them. I still have a few other tricks up my sleeve that I will be trying to get the stones back. So stay tuned.
Tom Mitchell, President
United States Faceters GuildNovember 11, 2019 at 10:51 am #5831
To Tom Mitchell:
Thank you for your overview of the challenges of this year’s competition and of the missing Novice Class stone entries. There are seemingly a few leads left to follow but I am pragmatic in that if the stones have been missing for this period of time that that speaks volumes about ‘re-finding’ them.
It has been suggested that entrants be allowed to recut and resubmit new stones and I would like to ask that those involved in such a decision from the Guild to please give that option consideration. With the new designs for 2020 being released soon, I understand the overlap would be a little confusing but I think it is an important gesture to those who have been denied the judging of work they all put so much effort into. It won’t be a perfect solution but might be the best one available.
Perhaps giving that specific, small group a three month window to recut stones would give them adequate time without rushing and still leave them time to go on and work on entries for the 2020 competition. And if such a decision were to be announced and made effective starting December 1st, that would give them a February 1st deadline to have the submissions postmarked.
I remember the enthusiasm of submitting my first stone for competition and can only imagine the disappointment of the entrants. It is pretty obvious the Guild itself did not lose the stones in question but they have an opportunity to help make this right.November 11, 2019 at 11:13 am #5832
^ postmarked deadline should have been listed as March 1st, not February.
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