I'm really excited that this has been the year of doing things I haven't done before. As a result of the experience, I'm learning alot about myself. Not just about what I want to make or don't want to make...but also the type of potter I want to be. The space I want to exist within.
When I first came to pottery over seven years ago, my goal was simple: to get out of my head and into something that help me find my emotional and mental balance. I've told the pottery story before, I'll spare you that. Suffice it to say, I didn't come to pottery to master it, I came to pottery to attempt to master me.
As my skills evolved and began to settle into myself, my goal shifted: make a better pot. As incredibly difficult as mastering myself has proven to be, trying to make a better pot would prove even more tedious. But, there's something to be said for time. There is also something to be said for the 4 p's of pottery: [passion], practice, patience and perseverance. And so I'm making better pots than I was before.
At this stage of my pottery journey, I am still working to make a better pot. But I'm also evaluating who I want to be in this space. And so again my goal has shifted: define the type of potter you really want to be. I am drawn to function. I find tremendous satisfaction in creating something and having someone else find use for it. I want to make things that people incorporate into their day and find joy in using. I want and deeply value the validation of my peers - knowing my forms are spot on and my work is pleasing to the eye.
But, pottery is an art, and in the art world, there is an element of cattiness and elitism where people begin "ranking" themselves or others - often as an effort to quantify the VALUE of a piece and the artist responsible for creating it. There is the element of "who do you know" and more often, "who are you known by." I don't know that I care about that part. I don't know that I care about juried shows or public recognitions. Perhaps I should, and maybe I'll learn that lesson in time. What I do know is, when I do events, what I enjoy most, what drives me most, is when someone picks of something I've made and they can't wait to use it. In that moment I feel personally connected to the person acquiring the piece, as well as the piece itself. For now, that's the potter I want to be.