I appreciate all the comments on the last post...I didn't mean to leave you hanging there, we had to make an emergency run to Austin this weekend and didn't get back until Sunday evening. I had a post planned in response to that but now it may be a week or two before I can get my thoughts down.
I've been having a short email conversation with another potter and this was part of my response today. All these email convos...maybe why the blogs aren't getting written.
Owning it. Indeed. I think you are owning what you do. It's easy to fall into the lure of wanting to make other peoples pots...I'd love to make pots with gnarly shinos...big jars fired on their sides for five days...anything by richard batterham...but those things don't suit me, they're not me. XXXXXX's pots are f-in awesome but they're not you.
I know exactly what you mean about "serious" work. I constantly wonder to myself if I would be mocked in the public arena for some of the things I do. What is serious anyways? Cruet sets? Fancy teapots? The need for recognition? Peer recognition is nice but it sure doesn't pay the bills. Why do you think all those fancy MFA potters are doing residency after residency? Because they can't pay the bills. No one wants a f-ing $500 oil and vinegar set on a tray. You can spend 5 hours on a pitcher and make it amazing visually but it's still a pitcher, why is it "serious work" because you've spent more time messing around with it?
I think the issue is that if you feel you aren't doing something worthwhile(worthwhile=serious? maybe...) then there is obviously a confidence problem with your work. I'm not directing this at you, i'm speaking generally...or perhaps to myself! I think that's all part of owning it.
I think it's a question of wanting to make a living vs. wanting recognition. And they don't always go hand in hand. There's a good chance that our work will never see the cover of CM, we're not part of the trend right now, our work is too simple and we haven't worked with anyone important. But what does the cover of CM get you? A month of popularity amongst your peers and $50? It's kinda like getting into the SFPN or the AKAR yunomi show, all ego boosting, very little monetary gain, unless potters are your primary customer. But you know what...I think it's okay to want that ego boost, hell maybe we even NEED it sometimes, but I don't think it should be the end goal. You telling me about (f-ing awesome potter) appreciating what I was doing, that was a nice little pick me up the other day. I needed that bit of ego boost.
Whatever...my rant for the day.
Feel free to add your own commentary.