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Who Is Your Best/worst Critic, Other Than Yourself?

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#1 TJR

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 07:34 PM

I was in the studio yesterday unpacking the last of my pots. Day after Christmas. My son looked at a plate and said;"Dad, you really "effed it up on this brushwork!" It was a bird on a dinner plate. The brush had skipped along the bottom line.

My other son called me aside and said in a low, conspiratorial voice; "Dad, I want you to REALLY try your best on this next batch of work."

I said I would try. I thought I was trying my best. They are both teenagers. They mean well and are genuinely thinking that they are helping me.Maybe I need to try harder and do better work in 2014.

TJR



#2 ayjay

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 06:55 AM

TJR, your kids are just extracting the urine, (I used to advise mine to leave home now, while he still knows it all).

 

My wife is my worst critic - she thinks everything I do is wonderful:  which is no use at all.



#3 Chris Campbell

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 11:35 AM

ayjay ... I agree with your sentiment even though stating it got me in trouble here once before!
I have another 'critic' who keeps showing me pictures of pottery and says ... You could learn to do this!
Yes, I guess I could.

Chris Campbell
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain
www.ccpottery.com

TRY ...   FAIL ...  LEARN ...  REPEAT


#4 Denice

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 12:14 PM

My husband has always been my best critic but I have become a better potter from it.  He works in the technical/mechanical world and thinks everything should look machine made.  His point of view has help me take a step back and clean up my designs and try to make each piece as perfect as possible. Now he complains that I am to much of a perfectionist with my work.  I would blame him for that but recently I met some old classmate I didn't remember them that well but they remembered me because I was such a perfectionist.  Oh my god! I thought I was a unorganized mess.  Denice



#5 Bob Coyle

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 12:21 PM

Sad to say, I still am my own worse critic. Some times my friends drive me nuts. You ask them for a critique and they are reluctant to say anything but positive  things about my pieces.  Some of my friends are artists also, so they should understand that I want to know about what they see that is not pleasing to them.

 

I used to ask customers for information on what they I might do to improve my work but mostly just got comments like "they look fine to me". Only one time during a studio tour, did I get some really constructive negative feedback. This was from another potter who was visiting Santa Fe and told me he though that my glazes needed to improve. I had been concentrating on the electroforming process, and had felt that the glaze was somewhat secondary. Looking at them through his eyes convinced me that this was an area that I had to work on.



#6 Marc McMillan

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 06:05 PM

My Aunt is my best critic. upon hearing her comments some have thought her rude, but she gives honest critiques and tells what she likes and dislikes and why.

It's much better than other family members who look at it and tell me they love everything. I'd rather hear a good critique than an ego-stroking complement. 



#7 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 04:52 AM

It's also my husband of 30 years who is my best critic. Every time I'am doing something new I hope that he will come to my studio and say:"oh wow, now that's a masterpiece all right"..... or something similar. But he never did and I know he never will. He's the good critique guy and although I don't always agree with what he would change or alter in an object, in the end I listen to his ideas and it was always to the best. He is no artist but an executive consultant and so he can "think out of the box".

Normally I like good critique also from people I don't know, but at the last Biennial in Belgium another ceramic artist came to me and told me that he really liked a vessel I did, only I was, (in his eyes he was stressing), exaggerating with the decor (screws). But: exactly this vessel won in a contest a few days earlier. So I learned once again that the same object can appeal to somebody and can evoke criticism from others.

What we shouldn't do is let ourselves be unsettled from criticism!

 

Evelyne


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In love with alternative firing methods
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#8 Stephen

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 12:21 PM

The only thing I would point out is that it may really be putting family and friends in an awkward position by wanting a critique. Maybe they do simply love anything you do. Maybe they feel uncomfortable saying otherwise even if they don't. In my personal opinion, beyond simply saying you appreciate honest feedback, I would not pressure friends and family to do what they feel uncomfortable doing.

 

More than once I have been pressed to provide essentially negative feedback because my praise was considered suspect and that was frustrating to me.



#9 TJR

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 01:36 PM

The only thing I would point out is that it may really be putting family and friends in an awkward position by wanting a critique. Maybe they do simply love anything you do. Maybe they feel uncomfortable saying otherwise even if they don't. In my personal opinion, beyond simply saying you appreciate honest feedback, I would not pressure friends and family to do what they feel uncomfortable doing.

 

More than once I have been pressed to provide essentially negative feedback because my praise was considered suspect and that was frustrating to me.

Stephen;

This is unsolicited feed back. They are my sons, so I listen to them politely. They tell me what they like and what they don't. I don't ask for an opinion.

Lots of times their advice is good, but they have no idea what is involved in the ceramic process. That is why for one of them to say,"Dad, I really want you to try your best.", is funny. He has no idea the risks involved, and the chances I am taking to push the envelope. That is why it is funny. That is why it keeps me humble. When they come home from school, the first place they go to is the studio, to see what I am doing, which is great for me.

TJR.



#10 Stephen

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 02:29 PM

Sounds like you may have a couple of next generation potters on your hands and they may be already learning from your mistakes  :)



#11 TJR

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 09:47 PM

Sounds like you may have a couple of next generation potters on your hands and they may be already learning from your mistakes  :)

You might be right.

T.



#12 Mark C.

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 02:27 AM

My customers.

M.


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www.liscomhillpottery.com

#13 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 10:42 AM

My best critic is the kiln.

 

Once my pots have gone through, it shows me what was good and what was bad about my work. Until then I am never quite sure.


                                                                                                                 1384226_215924051918490_1181728069_n.jpg


#14 Norm Stuart

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:42 PM

That's hilarious, and true.

 

My best critic is the kiln.

 

Once my pots have gone through, it shows me what was good and what was bad about my work. Until then I am never quite sure.



#15 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 09:06 PM

That seems to be very Zen to me.Best critic there is. I don't listen to my Rocket Scientist husband. Except for food, his tastes suck. He often gives me his opinions on pieces. Low rating in my book but he is a helluva cook!
Really he does like art and we visit museums on the rare times we can travel together.


Marcia

#16 Natania Hume

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 06:31 AM

My husband also offers honest helpful feedback often. Trouble is, his taste is very traditional and based on British pots, because, well, he is British and traditional in many of his tastes. However, my work  is minimal and contemporary. I listen to his ideas, and appreciate them, and then I listen to myself and keep doing what I'm doing. He is also a good cook, so I can appreciate his artistry there (and do - often)!







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