See, there's the catch ... A built in desire for everyone to be nice ... So, what if you think the piece is clunky, badly designed or poorly glazed? Is there any nice way of saying this? Or do the negative opinions need to stay silent in order not to be "spanked". I truly wish there was a way of doing this ....
How about ... If you want to post an image you have to agree not to kill the messenger??
If everyone reads back through the whole thread
you can see how this discussion has developed and reached this point. Chris is again making the most salient point about the whole problem with this concept.
Sometimes "being nice" MEANS saying that the particular piece is very unsuccessful. Doing it in a way that is as tactful as possible, but saying it nonetheless. To NOT say what should be said is doing them a disservice. It is not
being nice to them. It is actually being deceptive.
In fact with some people (very infrequently) you have to say it in pretty darn blunt terms sometimes for them to "get it". Subtelty with that kind of person doesn't work well.
I (and all other faculty members I know) spend a lot of time building trust with students exactly SO
that you can give them input (both reinforcing and more negative) and they will take it in, digest it, and act upon the feedback. How I handle the first critique of the year with a freshman class of intro students is VERY different from how I handle the last critique of the year with that same group. How I handle a critique with the senior ceramics majors whom I've known (and most importantly, who have known ME) for 4 years is VERY different for even that last critique with the intro freshman.
Trust and relationship matters.
So I am back to the "trust thing" I mentioned above in other posts. To do this in an online environment is very difficult because of the lack of trust building that must go on before a really meaningful critique dialog can exist. The same kinds of issues exist when you submit slides (what are they... I should say "images") for a juried exhibition and you sometimes get the (highly rare) feeback from the juror. It is a "critique" but it is not all that deeply effective.
("Who the hell is PotMan743 and what does he know about good claywork anyway.
If you are in an isolated location and looking for good feedback on your work, at the least go take some extended workshops occasionally. Or if you are a Potters Council member (hint , hint), get involved in the mentoring program available to members...... where you can get matched up with an experiened person and can build a long term trust building relationship. THAT would likely be far more useful to you.