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.