Talking to myself
I knew there was a dichotomy between my cup and Basil the Jiggerman’s. Maureen your comment was the perfect segue into this post and thank you for it. In over 7 years of writing this blog I have never had 7 comments on a post. That shows the differing opinions. Many days I feel like I am talking to myself.
People that make solely for the marketplace think that the market they have created in their own minds is the only one that exists. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Look at the cups on my kitchen shelf. This is a small selection of probably 100 cups of “other” potters. There is e-ware, wood fire, salt, reduction, oxidation. smooth, rough, small, big, the entire gammit. I think there is a market out there for all kinds of potters and lots of different aesthetics. I was taught to look longest at what you don’t like because it is from this work you will learn the most.
FYI Basil’s cup is my favourite travelling cup. You’re right I don’t have to look at it.
Here is my favourite cup by Mark Pharis that I have used every morning for 35 years. It has a rough lip and foot, the handle is too close to the body and the colour is just about as much colour as I can handle in the morning. I love this cup and have learned how to hold it. I look at it every morning! The yellow one he made recently - perfect rim and lovely one finger handle. I have never used it- not once!
'Swhy identical twins end up being very different people.
Ditto pots. I put 'em out there informed by my aspirations and limitations and then I learn about them all over again when folks see 'em and tell me what they think I meant by what I said.
Serendipity might expose me to a group that might lead me in a different direction than one I might have taken if a different group saw 'em first.
Sometimes I said some things way eruditer than I though capable of. Other times my dumber-than-shit side came out unbidden.
If making pots "for the mass market" means listening to the customer then we were guilty of that. Sometimes the customer's feedback was incorporated and sometimes not-see rule #1.
These basic rules apply whether your customer base is 20 or 220. Without the personal integrity of the potter the work cannot stand on its own.
All this being taken into consideration the potter still needs the customer more than the customer needs the potter.