There are a number of ways in which a person may be considered for membership of the Guild.
- If an applicant has little or no experience of crafting bows or arrows, he or she will be expected to undergo a minimum of three years tutelage as an Apprentice working to a Master. A syllabus has been laid down both for bowyers and fletchers, which ensures that the apprentice gains a well-rounded and extensive knowledge of the craft and becomes fully proficient in all aspects, including such things as workshop practices and dealing with customers, as well as reaching a high standard in the craft itself.
- Applicants who have made a substantial start in bow, arrow, string or arrowhead making and whose work has been approved by the Court, may be considered for mentoring by a Master as an Improver. Again, this is for a minimum of three years.
- Those whose level of experience is such that they feel no need of any further training may apply as a Direct Applicant. They must have been making and selling for at least three years and are required to present ten letters of commendation from satisfied customers. They will be accepted for assessment of a Masterpiece at the Court’s discretion, after their work has been appraised by a Master.
In all cases a “Masterpiece” is presented to the other Guild members, at a Guildmote, exactly as happened historically. The requirements for presentation are laid down and must be adhered to, in order to ensure that each applicant presents the same items and receives a fair assessment.
Applicants for string making or arrow smithing follow very similar paths.
How to apply
To apply to the Guild you should first contact the Clerk who will note your details and inform the Liaison Officer, who will contact you to establish your current level of skill and knowledge, and decide in which category it is most appropriate for you to apply.
Following a favourable exchange, an application form will be sent to you, along with the appropriate syllabus, the requirement details for the presentation of the Masterpiece and the criteria followed by the assessors. Your completed form should then be returned with your registration fee.
If you have identified a Master willing to accept you this will be noted, but if not you should visit the list of Masters on this site, and you are expected to make contact with appropriate ones and put forward your case for acceptance. It is emphasised that there is no guarantee that you will find a Master willing to take you immediately, as Members may already be fully committed.
Once registered, you are welcome to attend the annual Guildmote – in fact you are encouraged to do so, in order that members might meet and talk with you; but you may not take part in the business proceedings.
Masters. U.K membership is by invitation only - following approval of a presented Masterpiece.
Overseas Associates: Traditional Bowyers and Fletchers living outside the U.K. may apply to be accepted as Associates. They will receive the Guild’s regular news booklets and may attend a Guildmote (AGM) upon request. They may not use the Guild’s badge for business purposes.
Please use the Associate form, which should be sent to the Clerk.
- Download Adobe PDF version associate.pdf
Once downloaded you can simply print and complete the document and post to the Clerk at:
29 Batley Court, Oldland, South Glos. BS30 8YZ
Any enquiries may be addressed to the Clerk,
Veronica-Mae Soar: [email protected]
Or to the Liaison Officer:
Mr David Moss: [email protected]