Oh boy,,,,,,I remember the agony and frustration over the craft vs art debate in the early 70's as an art student. It continued with nuclear power through the 80's and then thankfully diminished. I refer to my work as vessels, not to raise them to a higher aesthetic or financial status, but because of my dedication to the vessel as an object and a form. Granted, I make non functional, decorative ware, but this doesn't affect how I see clay work and how I try to educate others. A pitcher, bowl, plate, platter, teapot, decorative vessel. They are all pots and should be appreciated and valued for their aesthetic and crafted quality.
John, I like your comments. Note this one: A "vessel" goes on a pedestal with a spotlight to be admired for it's beauty. "A "pot" goes in the sink, covered with the evening's remaining spagetti sauce." We have some of John's work. When it's not being used it is on display in our home with the rest of our collection. When it's being used it's on our dinner table. Before it goes back on display it goes into the sink to be washed!
Part and parcel of this topic is how do you see your own work? What are your intentions in making work? What do you call yourself? Potter, ceramic artist, clay worker, ceramist, sculptor?