As an artist I aim for excellent craftsmanship when making a piece. I want to make sure the piece fits the contour of my hand, has no rough edges, and has an overall feel of completion to it. As an artist I struggle with perfection. I read an interesting chapter from the book Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland about perfection. In a ceramic class the teacher told the students that they would be broken up into two groups. One would be graded on quantity and the other on quality. " It seems that while the "quantity" group was busily churning out piles of work-and learning from their mistakes- the "quality" group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay. If you think good work is somehow synonymous with perfect work, you are headed for big trouble. Art is human; error is human;ergo, art is error."(Bayles and Orland)
This summer I worked at making a quantity of work, aiming towards great craftsmanship. I learned from my mistakes and this weekend evaluated my work I did this past summer. I got rid of the work that did reach great craftsmanship and reflected on what I need to work on this fall. It was a great release to seeing what works and what doesn't and how I can't wait to get back into the studio making pots.


  1. I really enjoyed this blog post and have taken your reading and experience to heart. It's encouraging to know that good art can actually come through much hard work and turning out many pieces is not a slow way to obtain that goal. :-)

  2. Thanks for your kind words. It is nice to hear.