Each year the Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship considers candidates for one or more awards. The premiere award is for the Craftsman of the Year. The winner receives a cash award and an engraved gold medallion. In the past, the Craftsman of the Year award has been presented at the annual North American Model Engineering Society (NAMES) exposition, or at the museum in Carlsbad CA. Details about past winners can be found at the link below.
In addition to the Craftsman of the Year award, the foundation looks for an individual craftsman who has made an outstanding lifetime contribution to machining with emphasis on the small end of the size scale. The person who receives this award should be regarded as “the best” in their field by their peers, and has also shared their knowledge and encouraged others to improve their level of work along the way.
Selection for these awards becomes more of an honor with each new recipient. This is more a reflection of the quality of individuals in the group than a result of anything the foundation has done1. If it is true that you are judged by the company you keep, then this is certainly a group that any craftsman would be proud to be associated with. We feel that by maintaining the goals of the Joe Martin Foundation, the prestige of this award will increase as honorees continue to see the standard of excellence raised.
1Although Joe Martin was the owner of a tool manufacturing company, there is no requirement that any particular brand of tools be used by any award recipient.
The Joe Martin Foundation has also given out a few special recognition awards for contributions to craftsmanship through expertise or innovation. In addition to this, for a number of years the foundation was able to recognize the work of younger craftsmen, too. The Craftsman of the Year winner for 2002, Young C. Park, decided to donate his own winnings back to the foundation to support youth participation in craftsmanship. Using these funds, the foundation started an award under Mr. Park’s name which was divided among youth entrants (under the age of 20) in the Sherline Machinist’s Challenge contest. The contest was held each April at the NAMES expo, and because of Mr. Park’s generosity the foundation was able to reward youth participants each year through 2009.