Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kung Fu

I don't know why, but for some reason I find this photo hilarious.
And not that I haven't taken the hammer to a few things in my time. When I tell people who are not potters about this, they take a fast in-breath and say "Why?".
For one thing, I want my work to reflect the best level of skill I can.
My thought process was that if I sold seconds or flawed pieces I would be mortified to find them again. And it would be easily be identifiable as my work, since I always sign things. But I must say, I used to be more strict early in my work, (There was so much to trash). As time has gone by, I'm not quite so rigid about flaws. I came to this conclusion after seeing shows and visiting museums and finding that even the giants in the field show work that is not perfect.
Some 'flawed' pieces, I actually find to be quite endearing. I have a wobbly rimmed seconds bowl from one of my potter friends that somehow delights me every time I use it.
As long as a flaw doesn't jeopardize the integrity of the pot or the safety of the user, I let it survive now.
For one thing, it is a testament to the fact that the work was handmade and not belched out by some machine. For another thing, it's the realization that perfection is an ideal some of us strive for, but seldom attain. Sorta like people.

1 comment:

Potterchik said...

I regularly have "hammer parties" in the studio. Failures are necessary to continue improving, but they accumulate!