Monday, June 7, 2010

Rules for Artists

-- The symbol for Zen--

Some time ago, I was reading an article about the art of writing. Famous writers were asked, "What advice would you give new writers?" While it was specific to writers, in some respects the basic ideas could apply to artists just as well. The article was rather long and detailed and I won't go into it here. However, it got me thinking. What would I tell a new potter who was just starting out?

I began jotting down thoughts as they came to me. They weren't in any kind of order. I saved them in a file and from time to time, when a new thought hit my brain, I added it. I put it aside. Then, a few days ago as I was going to sleep, two more ideas occurred to me. I jotted them down on the sheet of paper on my nightstand.

Looking at the list again, I decided to break it down into sections. I will write more later in coming entries.

Overall Philosophy Department: "The first 10 years are the hardest."

This is a quote from the writers' list. It is sort of a joke and not a joke. The same statement could hold true for artists.

It's great to have an innate gift, but talent undeveloped is still just that. Mastery is the prize. It takes time and work to develop talent into the sum of skills with the materials, understanding and cultivation of your own technique and using your gift to bring artistic thought into reality.

There is a book entitled 'Finding One's Way with Clay'. That's a great title and a good book to have. You must figure out our own unique path in the clay otherwise, the work is not yours; it's someone else's.

You may take classes, and seek out instructors for workshops, pour over books on aesthetics, technique and materials. You might pick the brains of colleagues and suppliers. But in the end it is just you and the materials and time.

And really, what could possibly be better than that?

I dub thee Master of the Pot.

1 comment:

Sister Creek Potter said...

Thank you, Jeanette. I will watch expectantly for subsequent 'rules'! You are very generous and I appreciate all that you offer on your blog. Gay