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Claypple

Two different worlds out there.

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trina    20

Dream vs Reality:

 

Dream : I will open a studio, they will flock for miles to buy my fairies and grapes and anything else I can think up. I will never run out of ideas. My work is in the national gallery. Everyone loves me and I am rich.

 

 

 

Reality: This is what we all face daily. There is no black or white here, one way or the other

 

 

Whatever we have to do to get that one moment of bliss ie the perfect pot or whatever we love to do makes everything else worthwhile and pays the bills.

 

What is Art: Who really knows, does it change, yes. For me it is like first love. I love you , i love you, i loooovveee you sooooo much and then......, I never realised you had bad breath. Its fickle but memorable.

 

T

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OffCenter    82

I have to add this last post that I think is an example of one person's art being another person's belly-laugh. I recently posted the following mug on a Facebook page as an example of some glazes. I also liked the mug because to me it had the gesture and movement I was looking for, but, a relative who took a high school ceramics class recently sent me an email saying, "Uncle Jimmy, the glazes are pretty but that is one lumpy cup and the handle is crooked. You need to practice pulling cylinders." http://ceramicartsda...wimage&img=2562

 

Jim

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Claypple    29

Back to,original topic. I really don want to be classified can't I just play with mud.........

 

 

 

 

That's exactly why I said it would be unfair to bring the subject of art to this thread!!!!!!!

One thing is to talk about full time potters vs part time potters (and this is what that article and the post was about),

another thing is to divide/label/sort out/classify.

 

Thank you everyone for passionate responses.

 

I fixed the photo. Still don't think it is art, but I do, too, LOVE playing in mud after a day of dealing with sick or dying patients, devastated families and exhausted staff. (I do geriatrics). I think there are more doctors here on the Forum than it seems at first. Ha!

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Claypple    29

That's exactly why I said it would be unfair to bring the subject of art to this thread!!!!!!!

 

 

 

Relax, Claypple.

 

 

smile.gif

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GEP    863

Of all the full-time professional potters I've ever met, the following phrase applies to all of them:

 

You don't choose it, it chooses you.

 

Mea

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Benzine    610

" or spend 1000 hours carving grapes and fairies on already hideous vases so their son can declare here that it is the world's greatest pottery."

 

 

That thread, really rubbed you the wrong way, didn't it?

 

 

You picked up on that, did you?

 

Jim

 

 

What can I say, I pick up on subtlety very well........

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Pres    896

My father used to have a saying that often he didn't follow, but I remember it well. "If you can't say something nice/constructive about something, don't say anything at all", I often follow this rule when posting anywhere. It keeps me from abusing the anonymity of the web. So when you don't see a post of mine somewhere, understand often why, other times. . . I am either too naive, or not technical enough, or experienced enough to say anything.

 

BTW Offcenter, at the risk of sucking up to such a grench, I liked the mug. The comments well, first off I found that many times a leaning handle fits the hand better for a rt or lft hander, people buy mugs that way. Secondly, I throw very tight regular forms(boring) and am working hard to loosen up. I admire the flow of the form with the flow of the glaze, and the movement of the leaning handle fits with the form accent line. . . . . Just my humble opinion.

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trina    20

My father used to have a saying that often he didn't follow, but I remember it well. "If you can't say something nice/constructive about something, don't say anything at all", I often follow this rule when posting anywhere. It keeps me from abusing the anonymity of the web. So when you don't see a post of mine somewhere, understand often why, other times. . . I am either too naive, or not technical enough, or experienced enough to say anything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I can't say something nice I generally revert to a good old Canadian "Holy Smokes EH!" T

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BTW Offcenter, at the risk of sucking up to such a grench, I liked the mug. The comments well, first off I found that many times a leaning handle fits the hand better for a rt or lft hander, people buy mugs that way. Secondly, I throw very tight regular forms(boring) and am working hard to loosen up. I admire the flow of the form with the flow of the glaze, and the movement of the leaning handle fits with the form accent line. . . . . Just my humble opinion.

 

 

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OffCenter    82

My father used to have a saying that often he didn't follow, but I remember it well. "If you can't say something nice/constructive about something, don't say anything at all", I often follow this rule when posting anywhere. It keeps me from abusing the anonymity of the web. So when you don't see a post of mine somewhere, understand often why, other times. . . I am either too naive, or not technical enough, or experienced enough to say anything.

 

BTW Offcenter, at the risk of sucking up to such a grench, I liked the mug. The comments well, first off I found that many times a leaning handle fits the hand better for a rt or lft hander, people buy mugs that way. Secondly, I throw very tight regular forms(boring) and am working hard to loosen up. I admire the flow of the form with the flow of the glaze, and the movement of the leaning handle fits with the form accent line. . . . . Just my humble opinion.

 

 

My father had a saying, too. Almost every time I began a sentence with "I wish...", he would say, "Wish in one hand and take a dump in the other and see which gets full first." So sorry to offend the delicate among you, but the hackneyed maxim "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" makes even my father's crude saying seem intelligent when compared to it. Maybe it's not such a bad maxim if you live in North Korea or you were born without a spine or the only conversations you have with people is at Tupperware parties, but for people who value the intelligent exchange of ideas, it is insultingly stupid. Obviously, you don't have to say negative things in a discourteous way or sink to the level of calling someone a grench, but do you really want to visit a forum that has the intellectual intensity of a baby shower?

 

Thanks for the critique, Pres. I think a lot of us battle tightness. Way back when I was in the Denver Potter's Guild we used to yell at each other, "Loosen up!" and I never could. Every pot was a test of how thin, how exact I could throw it and they were very thin and very exact but dead.

 

Jim

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AtomicAxe    19

I've asked a lot of ceramicists/potters/whatever what they consider themselves ... no one can give me a reply that is standard ... after a while I don't really care how many types of people are out there or what they call themselves ... I really only care what I consider myself.

 

A mud bug.

 

I will do production if I want, lord knows I have the experience. I will make ceramic art if I want. I will make mugs all day with none being the same and not save any of them if I want. Trying to label it as something specific is fine, but how many painters and sculpters really define themselves as that specific label ... not many and when I do see it, its a descriptive term they use to let the audience in front of them know a little more about what medium they use, so they know what to expect "i.e. I'm a water color painter" anything else is for a self inflated artist statement.

 

Pro vs Hobby is an idiosyncratic fallacy. Only thing that should matter is Do, or Do not. I know 'pros' that don't produce and I know 'hobbyists' that can out shine anyone ... Do you produce or don't you. The rest is all shades of grey and frivolous.

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Pres    896

My father used to have a saying that often he didn't follow, but I remember it well. "If you can't say something nice/constructive about something, don't say anything at all", I often follow this rule when posting anywhere. It keeps me from abusing the anonymity of the web. So when you don't see a post of mine somewhere, understand often why, other times. . . I am either too naive, or not technical enough, or experienced enough to say anything.

 

BTW Offcenter, at the risk of sucking up to such a grench, I liked the mug. The comments well, first off I found that many times a leaning handle fits the hand better for a rt or lft hander, people buy mugs that way. Secondly, I throw very tight regular forms(boring) and am working hard to loosen up. I admire the flow of the form with the flow of the glaze, and the movement of the leaning handle fits with the form accent line. . . . . Just my humble opinion.

 

 

My father had a saying, too. Almost every time I began a sentence with "I wish...", he would say, "Wish in one hand and take a dump in the other and see which gets full first." So sorry to offend the delicate among you, but the hackneyed maxim "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" makes even my father's crude saying seem intelligent when compared to it. Maybe it's not such a bad maxim if you live in North Korea or you were born without a spine or the only conversations you have with people is at Tupperware parties, but for people who value the intelligent exchange of ideas, it is insultingly stupid. Obviously, you don't have to say negative things in a discourteous way or sink to the level of calling someone a grench, but do you really want to visit a forum that has the intellectual intensity of a baby shower?

 

Thanks for the critique, Pres. I think a lot of us battle tightness. Way back when I was in the Denver Potter's Guild we used to yell at each other, "Loosen up!" and I never could. Every pot was a test of how thin, how exact I could throw it and they were very thin and very exact but dead.

 

Jim

 

 

So I tend to the constructive, not the argumentative, or, . . . I say nothing at all.

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OffCenter    82

 

So I tend to the constructive, not the argumentative, or, . . . I say nothing at all.

 

 

So you consider name calling constructive?

 

Jim

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Pres    896

So I tend to the constructive, not the argumentative, or, . . . I say nothing at all.

 

 

So you consider name calling constructive?

 

Jim

 

 

Name calling, more of a levity, take the critique for what it is, If my attempt at being light hearted hurts you so be it, it was only meant in jest. I'll tread much lighter if there is a next time.

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Biglou13    202

 

 

My father had a saying, too. Almost every time I began a sentence with "I wish...", he would say, "Wish in one hand and take a dump in the other and see which gets full first." ..........

 

I think a lot of us battle tightness. Way back when I was in the Denver Potter's Guild we used to yell at each other, "Loosen up!" and I never could. Every pot was a test of how thin, how exact I could throw it and they were very thin and very exact but dead.

 

Jim

 

 

 

Loved the mug. And I'm glad you loosened up..... You bottles prove that....

 

I really Love your dads saying.............. Made me laugh ...... But there is zen like truth in that message. I'm going to,start saying that....

 

Im told than I'm (my style) is LOOSE.( I'm too old to be loose otherwise) I take it as a compliment/insult I need to leave out a super tall cylinder more often, for those with a handful of .....

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Chris Campbell    1,087

My father had a saying, too. Almost every time I began a sentence with "I wish...", he would say, "Wish in one hand and take a dump in the other and see which gets full first." ..........

 

 

You have to love that generation ... before PC strangled the life out of life. Neither of my parents had much patience with "wishes". Also, we were always told to "say nothing if you had nothing nice to say", but they seldom followed their own rule. If they had, we certainly would have missed out on a lot of family & neighborhood drama!cool.gif

 

As to whether or not you can be honest online without getting flamed .... "The Useful Critique" ....

 

http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/topic/2516-the-useful-critique/page__p__19082__fromsearch__1entry19082

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Guest Sherman   
Guest Sherman

I was hoping a good discussion like this would result from that article. It's not as easy a topic as many of us sometimes assume. As several have stated already, in very eloquent terms, things often look different from the inside of a practice than from the outside. The article on Scott Cooper originated from a discussion I had with him about a blog post he wrote on the topic of difficult choices he had made in his career (primarily the choice to "kill the dream"). His perspective encapsulated what I have been seeing in the course of publishing articles about folks in this field for about a dozen years now: that most people seriously working in clay are not able to, or have chosen not to, exclusively pursue making pots as a livelihood. I've also seen that the idea that this is somehow a failure of fortitude has waned. In it's place, there is (appropriately) the understanding that people build their lives and livelihoods in ways that make sense to them personally, that fit their family obligations and lifestyle preferences. And of course, it resonated with me personally.

 

I remember having a discussion with my brother once (he's younger, but wiser, than me) a few years after setting up my studio after college and trying to make a go of pottery as a profession, and I was lamenting how much work it was, and all of the potential hazards and difficulties involved (I probably just had a very bad firing). He asked me the very simple question, "Why do you want to do this?" I was honestly stumped for several moments, which surprised me. I had been so focused on making this happen that I never bothered to revisit my original motivation for pursuing ceramics in the first place, which was a love of the material and the satisfaction of making things by hand—a good deal of which I had lost in the course of being in business in just a few short years. Not long after that, I realized that, while I may be interested in making pots and selling them, I was not going to do well if I was the one in charge of running the business as well. My decision to stop trying to make a living at it wasn't a pottery decision, it was a business decision.

 

So I find the part of this discussion that has to do with our own personal assumptions and fantasies about what it might mean to turn our passion into a profession very interesting. I suppose what I think about Claypple's original question is that there are about as many types of potters as there are people pursuing that dream. That's overly simplistic, of course, and perhaps an easy way out of answering the question, but I hesitate to claim one camp or the other. I've been making pots for a lot of years, and when I'm in my studio I feel confident and assured like a production potter might. I don't really lose pots anymore, and I can be as efficient or as inefficient as I choose with my studio time. So, in this respect, I feel I have professional skills. But when I look from the outside (on paper, so to speak) it is clear that I am a hobby potter. I don't sell work (I make gifts), I don't spend much time (a few evenings a month) in the studio. So I guess I'm both—and I would guess that many of us are some mixture of both.

 

Thanks for posting, Claypple. And thanks to everyone for thoughtful responses.

 

Sherman

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JBaymore    1,432

Sherman,

 

From my point of view, you are full time professional in the ceramics field. That life you've built has many aspects to it, each of which informs the others, but all revolve around clay.

 

Many of us full-timers take that approach either deliberately or out of necessity to make it all work. A blend of studio work, presenting workshops, formal teaching, doiong consulting, kiln building, writing, and so on. In today's complex world ..... this can often be the "nature of the beast".

 

As you said there are all manner of approaches to this issue of being a "professional" in the ceramics field. It is all "shades of gray"...... and that is NOT a cop out answer.

 

 

 

Our field is not alone in the difficulties of making a living as a "pro". I have a family member who is a doctor. Literally a "nationally known" level person with credential that amaze. He finally decided to close hisw own practioce because it was becoming too difficult to run his own business and be the doctor he wanted to be. So he now works for a group owned by a major medical center and gets to focus on being a doctor, not a business ownere and employer. Is he no longer a "professional" doctor? I think not.

 

best,

 

........................john

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Pres    896

Sherman,

 

From my point of view, you are full time professional in the ceramics field. That life you've built has many aspects to it, each of which informs the others, but all revolve around clay.

 

Many of us full-timers take that approach either deliberately or out of necessity to make it all work. A blend of studio work, presenting workshops, formal teaching, doiong consulting, kiln building, writing, and so on. In today's complex world ..... this can often be the "nature of the beast".

 

As you said there are all manner of approaches to this issue of being a "professional" in the ceramics field. It is all "shades of gray"...... and that is NOT a cop out answer.

 

 

 

Our field is not alone in the difficulties of making a living as a "pro". I have a family member who is a doctor. Literally a "nationally known" level person with credential that amaze. He finally decided to close hisw own practioce because it was becoming too difficult to run his own business and be the doctor he wanted to be. So he now works for a group owned by a major medical center and gets to focus on being a doctor, not a business ownere and employer. Is he no longer a "professional" doctor? I think not.

 

best,

 

........................john

 

Thank you John for some very wise insight into this obsession that many have with clay.

 

On another note similar, I have a niece, that was always teaching her younger sibling, and was good at it. She decided to major in Fine Arts. At the time she was doing this she was talking about doing the MFA, and working a studio. I interjected that maybe she should look at taking some ed classes and have a back up plan. I know that many of you out there will stomp on that, but it was my personal opinion. She went on to flounder around with a BFA, then picking up other credits here and there, never getting into grad school as MFA-don't know the full story there. Long to short she just graduated with a MED with her K-12 certification. Sometimes, maybe the dream is really no more than a shadow in the fog.

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