Scientific Gadgetry

(Revised May 2004)

Scientific Gadgetry includes devices of medieval design which either measure the workings of the world (Ex., a clock, astrolabe. telescope, etc.) or demonstrate a philosophy (Ex., the monochord, a one-stringed quasi-musical instrument used to demonstrate Pythagorean philosophies). These criteria focus primarily on the design, function and logical integrity of a piece; for standards on material handling, judges may wish to consult criteria for such categories as Woodwork or Metalwork as appropriate.

Scientific Gadgetry; Novice

Documentation

0-8 points. Judging and scoring for Documentation is based on a graduated level of knowledge and discussion of the components of the item. For Novice level, a 3x5 card is the minimum required, but more is encouraged. Any discussion beyond listing of the criteria below, on period practice, any conscious compromises or research is encouraged and should receive higher points than simply listing the information. Verbal feedback during the judging, how well the entrant understands the process of the creation of their item beyond what is written, can enhance the Documentation score. Give score based on the following:

  • Description of entry including some of the following: country of origin, period of origin, characteristics of style for that period.
  • Lists materials and skills used to complete the project.
  • Lists methods and tools used to complete the project.
  • Research and reference: cites at least one source and one visual or descriptive reference, or two of either.

Authenticity

0-8 points. Judge this at the Novice level, keeping in mind any plausible/explained deviations or substitutions from authentic period equivalents (reasonable substitutions for elements that are too toxic, too expensive or too rare). Efforts to achieve a completely authentic item (except those items that are unsafe) will score best.

  • Form/function—is it a period item and does it work in a period way (apparent knowledge or application of period practice).
  • Methods of creation—appropriate to period or are consistent and give a period effect.
  • Materials used—period or reasonable substitutions that give a period effect.
  • Design, style— is the design or style period or give a period effect.

Complexity

1-5 points. Rank the ambition of the entry, not the workmanship, based on the following. Judge the entrant at the Novice level, keeping in mind that not all period items are complex.

  • Scope of endeavor (number of pieces, size of work in relation to amount of detail, etc.).
  • Difficulty/variety of design elements used.
  • Difficulty/variety of techniques attempted.
  • Difficulty/variety of media, materials, tools used.
  • Extent of original work or ideas.

Workmanship

1-5 points. Rank the quality of execution and success of the entry. Judge the entrant at the Novice level, based on the following:

  • Effective use of tools, methods, execution.
  • Techniques, choice and handling of materials, finishing, etc.
  • Design: Do plans/patterns make sense? Are parts combined properly? Do parts balance? Are proportions good?
  • Form/Function: Is it accurate and reliable? How well do pieces work together as a set?
  • Period styling OR personalization OR special embellishment.

Overall Quality

1-4 points. Evaluate the work as a whole, rating the aesthetic effect and appeal beyond the mere technical proficiency. Consider how you react to the entry (intuitive response) and other items not previously addressed. This is the ‘wow’ factor; following are some examples to consider, but the category is not limited to these.

  • Completely authentic from the ground up.  -OR-
  • Unique or outstanding display or attempt at period presentation.  -OR-
  • Logical creative endeavor within a period methodology (creativity/individuality).  -OR-
  • You want to take it home because it is really outstanding.

Scientific Gadgetry; Intermediate

Documentation

0-8 points. Judging and scoring for Documentation is based on a graduated level of knowledge and discussion of the components of the item. Intermediate level documentation should have at least minimal discussion of the components involved. More in-depth discussion or period practices or conscious compromises is encouraged and should receive higher points. Verbal feedback during the judging, how well the entrant understands the period practice and process of the creation of their item beyond what is written, can enhance the Documentation score. Give score based on the following:

  • Description and some discussion of entry including the following: country of origin, period of origin, characteristics of style for that period.
  • Some discussion of materials and skills used to complete the project.
  • Some discussion of methods and tools used to complete the project.
  • Research and reference: cites more than one source and one visual or descriptive reference, includes a reference sheet (bibliography) or cites sources in a standard format (endnotes, footnotes, parenthetical, MLA, etc.).

Authenticity

0-8 points. Judge this at the Intermediate level, keeping in mind any plausible/explained deviations or substitutions from authentic period equivalents (reasonable substitutions for elements that are too toxic, too expensive or too rare). Efforts to achieve a completely authentic item (except those items that are unsafe) will score best.

  • Form/function—is it a period item and does it work in a period way (apparent knowledge or application of period practice).
  • Methods of creation—appropriate to period or are consistent and give a period effect.
  • Materials/tools used—period or reasonable substitutions that give a period effect.
  • Design, style— is the design or style period or give a period effect.

Complexity

1-5 points. Rank the ambition of the entry, not the workmanship, based on the following. Judge the entrant at the Intermediate level, keeping in mind that not all period items are complex.

  • Scope of endeavor (number of pieces, size of work in relation to amount of detail, etc.).
  • Difficulty/variety of design elements used: interaction, coordination of parts, decoration, etc.
  • Difficulty/variety of techniques: measurement, degree of accuracy, attempted magnetizing, lens grinding, etc.
  • Difficulty/variety of media, materials, tools used.
  • Extent of original work or ideas.

Workmanship

1-5 points. Rank the quality of execution and success of the entry. Judge the entrant at the Intermediate level, based on the following:

  • Effective use of tools, methods, execution.
  • Techniques, choice and handling of materials, finishing, etc.
  • Design: Do plans/patterns make sense? Are parts combined properly? Do parts balance? Are proportions good?
  • Form/Function: Is it accurate and reliable? How well do pieces work together as a set?
  • Period style or technique or personalization or special embellishment.

Overall Quality

1-4 points. Evaluate the work as a whole, rating the aesthetic effect and appeal beyond the mere technical proficiency. Consider how you react to the entry (intuitive response) and other items not previously addressed. This is the ‘wow’ factor; following are some examples to consider, but the category is not limited to these.

  • Completely authentic from the ground up.  -OR-
  • Unique or outstanding display or attempt at period presentation.  -OR-
  • Logical creative endeavor within a period methodology (creativity/individuality).  -OR-
  • You want to take it home because it is really outstanding.

Scientific Gadgetry; Advanced

Documentation

0-8 points. Judging and scoring for Documentation is based on a graduated level of knowledge and discussion of the components of the item. Advanced level documentation should have a thorough discussion of the components of the item, explains the rationale behind methods, materials, skills and tools, provides illustrations (if available), references and notes, as well as any original research or experimentation. Any conscious compromises should be explained. A summary page is helpful if the documentation is exceptionally in-depth, and more detailed work can also be put in appendices. Verbal feedback during the judging, how well the entrant understands the period practice and process of the creation of their item beyond what is written, can enhance the Documentation score. Give score based on the following:

  • Description and discussion of entry including the following: country of origin, period of origin, characteristics of style for that period.
  • Thorough knowledge or discussion of materials and skills used to complete the project.
  • Thorough knowledge or discussion of methods and tools used to complete the project.
  • Research and reference: very complete sources and visual or descriptive references, includes a bibliography and cites sources in a standard format (endnotes, footnotes, parenthetical, MLA, etc.).

Authenticity

0-8 points. Judge this at the Advanced level, keeping in mind any deviations or substitutions from authentic period equivalents (reasonable substitutions for elements that are too toxic, too expensive or too rare) must be plausible and explained. Efforts to achieve a completely authentic item (except those items that are unsafe) will score best.

  • Form/function—is it a period item and does it work in a period way (apparent knowledge or application of period practice).
  • Methods of creation—appropriate to period or are consistent and give a period effect.
  • Materials used—are period or reasonable substitutions that give a period effect.
  • Design, style—period design or style or gives a period effect.

Complexity

1-5 points. Rank the ambition of the entry, not the workmanship, based on the following. Judge the entrant at the Advanced level, keeping in mind that not all period items are complex.

  • Scope of endeavor (number of pieces, size of work in relation to amount of detail, etc.).
  • Difficulty/variety of design elements used: interaction, coordination of parts, decoration, etc.
  • Difficulty/variety of techniques: measurement, degree of accuracy, attempted magnetizing, lens grinding, etc.
  • Difficulty/variety of media, materials, tools used.
  • Extent of original work or ideas.

Workmanship

1-5 points. Rank the quality of execution and success of the entry. Judge the entrant at the Advanced level, based on the following:

  • Effective use of tools, methods, execution.
  • Techniques, choice and handling of materials, finishing, etc.
  • Design: Do plans/patterns make sense? Are parts combined properly? Do parts balance? Are proportions good?
  • Form/Function: Is it accurate and reliable? How well do pieces work together as a set?
  • Period styling or personalization or special embellishment.

Overall Quality

1-4 points. Evaluate the work as a whole, rating the aesthetic effect and appeal beyond the mere technical proficiency. Consider how you react to the entry (intuitive response) and other items not previously addressed. This is the ‘wow’ factor; following are some examples to consider, but the category is not limited to these.

  • Completely authentic from the ground up.  -OR-
  • Unique or outstanding display or attempt at period presentation.  -OR-
  • Logical creative endeavor within a period methodology (creativity/individuality).  -OR-
  • You want to take it home because it is really outstanding.