I have noticed that many threads here tend to move in the direction of the public having no idea what they are looking at, the work involved, the time dedicated, etc.
Many talk about trying to explain the process.
Many talk about trying to explain the 35 years it took to create this pot.
I have read comments about people saying "I could never do what you do" and getting annoyed at them for not understanding how hard your struggle was to do what you do.
I have read about how annoying it is when a person at an art show asks "do you make this in blue?", etc.
The comments about new potters with little talent and experience trying to compete with more experienced ones at the craft shows.
Consumers not understanding the difference between a $5 target cup, and a $25 handmade piece.
The battle between art and craft etc.
My uncle is an artist, and when he saw a piece of mine he said "I wonder what was going through your thoughts when you made that" "When an artist makes a piece, our thoughts and feelings go into it". I have thought out how I would respond if someone asks me the difference between my bowl and a $5 target bowl, and I considered replying that nobody's soul is in the target bowl. When I work on the wheel, I hold my breath with each pull, I have memories and emotions play through my mind when I create it. When finished, I step back from each piece (even though they still suck) and feel overwhelming emotion. As if something deep within me that I never looked at, came out. And there it is in front of me on this wheel head. When something flops, It's like a physical let down as if I was not able to complete the task of facing the emotions that were attempting to come through.
Each piece contains a deep part of me. (even when they have s cracks and uneven lips) I promise that even though my piece does not show physical control yet, it certainly has the same amount of soul poured into it.
I have said to someone "I could never be as good as you"... because It isn't fathomable at this point. Someday I hope to be wrong. But when I made that comment to an artist, I meant it as a compliment, as a way of expressing how difficult I acknowledge it to be.
It got me thinking about computer repairmen, and how cocky they can be about those who know nothing about computers. I thought about wine connoisseurs and how some of them are known to be snobbish at those who drink lambrusco or merlot. All we want from the computer repairman is to fix out damn computer. And all we want from the wine connoisseur is to pair our meal with something that would be enjoyable. We don't want to know how the circuit board works, and how rainy the season was in napa.
My question is, Could we be doing that to people who inquire about our work?
Why is it that we need them to know? Or do they need to know?
How do we show them all of this?
Is it the lack of respect by the consumer that causes us to get defensive or is it our need for recognition? Or both?
How far do we need to take our explanations? (I am interested to see the varied opinions on this)
I am excited to see the responses and discussion that comes from these questions.