Requirements for Membership
As of the date of adoption of this Amended Constitution and Bylaws, and prior to the formal incorporation of the Guild on or about March 19, 2013, the Guild has been operating informally for a number of years and has, accordingly, established a Membership. Those Members who have been previously recognized by the Guild shall continue to occupy the same Membership status in the incorporated Guild, but shall be hereafter subject to this document. To become a Full member of the Georgia Custom Knifemakers’ Guild, an individual must first present three (3) knives to the Board of Directors that are 100% handmade by that individual – those knifes shall not be the work of more than one individual and no Computer Numerical Control (“CNC”) or other computer assisted machining shall be incorporated into the knives. It shall be up to the Board of Directors to determine if the submitted knives qualify the applicant for membership and all decisions of the Board of Directors shall be final. If, after becoming a member, a Member wants to make and sell CNC knives, nothing contained in this Constitution or these Bylaws prohibits the Member from doing so. As a condition to continued membership in the Georgia Custom Knifemaker’s Guild, however, Members must abide by its Standard of Conduct which requires, among other things, that Members honestly display and represent such work as CNC and not as hand made. The Guild recognizes that the term “Handmade Knife” is difficult to define and subject to varying interpretations, but holds that, at a minimum, it requires that a maker personally grind, forge, or knap the blade and honestly disclose how each component is produced. The Board of Directors shall have the ultimate decision as to whether a knife is “handmade” for purposes of consideration for initial membership in the Guild and determination of whether a Member is or has complied with the Guild’s Standard of Conduct. A Member who disagrees with the decision of the Board, however, may petition the Board to submit said question to the Membership for a vote at a regular meeting of the Guild, notice of which shall be given to the Membership not less than 30 days prior to the meeting at which the vote is to occur.
There are five (5) classes of membership. Except as otherwise provided herein, membership in each class shall be granted by, and at the discretion of, the Board of Directors to individuals who fulfill the qualifications set forth below. All members are bound by the By-Laws, rules and regulations of the Guild. Voting members shall be entitled to one vote per membership.
- A Full Member must be a knife maker by stock removal or bladesmithing, that has had three (3) pieces of his work evaluated by the Board and been accepted in accordance with the criteria that are set out above.
- A Full Member does not have to be a Georgia resident.
- Full Members may hold elected offices and serve on the Board.
- A Full Member has full voting rights.
- An Affiliate Member is a supplier, embellisher, photographer, leathercrafter, or member of some other trade or hobby which shares one or more common interest with Members of Guild and/or the topics which are addressed at Guild meetings.
- An Affiliate Member does not have to reside in Georgia.
- An Affiliate Member may hold elected offices and serve on the Board.
- An Affiliate Member has full voting rights.
- A Probationary Member is someone who has expressed interest in becoming a Member and has paid dues and submitted one or more knives to the Board for evaluation but who has not yet been accepted for membership. If submissions by an applicant have been rejected for any reason, probationary members are encouraged to submit additional knives for consideration by the Board.
- A Probationary Member moves to Full Membership immediately upon acceptance of his work and payment of applicable dues.
- A Probationary Member does not have voting rights.
Friends of the Guild / Collector
- A Friend of the Guild Member is a person who is interested in and supports the craft of knife-making but is not a maker nor does he fall into any of the above categories.
- A Friend of the Guild Member does not have to reside in Georgia.
- A Friend of the Guild Member does not have voting rights.
- A Youth Member must be under the age of 19 years of age. Upon reaching 19 years of age, the Youth Member must move into one of the above categories.
- A Youth Member does not have to reside in Georgia.
- A Youth Member does not have voting rights.
Membership dues are per calendar year and are payable by the first regular Guild meeting of each year.
Friends of the Guild———–$20.00
Failure to pay dues, and continued failure to pay same after written request for same from the
Guild, shall be grounds for termination of Membership in the Guild. All dues shall be
deposited by the Guild in one or more bank accounts in the name of the Guild and no dues
will be deposited in an account belonging to any other individual or entity.