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Overcoming Insecurity

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#21 Stephen

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 04:55 PM

I know what you mean but don't lump them all together, we have some friends that are into the shows and they treat their animals like royalty both when they are competing in the shows and after, forever. The show thing is their hobby but they really do adore their animals and provide a great life for them. I think a lot of the folks that are really into the shows are the same way, not all but a lot of them. Nothing like the racing group or puppy mill people.

 

Maybe target some of the money to some good rescue groups and make that part of it.



#22 Pugaboo

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 11:09 PM

I make my own transfers as well. I have 30+ years of artwork that I have converted to digital files so I can print my own stuff and put on pots. With the pen and inks I am even doing some color wash affects on some pieces since I only have the capability of doing black and white transfers.

I also second the small stuff. I LOVE doing sculptures and really fancy boxes BUT I need to price them starting at $100 and most people have this thing about spending more than a $20 bill on stuff around here. So I do loads of spoon rests, pendants, small pencil boxes, etc. The little stuff can add up quick when it sells AND it's cheaper to make since it takes less materials AND it's easier on the body.

I also have a severely messed up back, 2 surgeries, permanent damage, can't ride in a car for more than 5 minutes and if I do I can't feel my left foot and the sciatic nerve kicks in, bla bla bla. Lol grocery shopping can be a rather interesting prospect around here since the nearest store is 20 minutes away. With a messed up back I have just learned to do things the way I can and not worry that I do them in a strange way. I have to stand to do just about everything can't sit for more than a few minutes. When I throw it has to be a VERY GOOD DAY and I can't need to do anything the next day since I know I will be paying the price. It's why I do a variety of things pinch, slab, coil, extruder and wheel and I let my body tell me what it can handle that day. Heck I just realized my life can at times sound like a really bad country song.. Waa waa waa. My art is my sanctuary AND my business. I work through my issues with my art then sell them off to other people now THAT sounds like cheating. I also live in terror of not selling and have reacuring nightmares involving the words... Do you want fries with that? I work all the time in the studio and when something hurts too much to do that day I work on another project.

Don't let your limitations... Well.... Limit you, make them work FOR You.

I would also try the weebly free website it's very easy to learn and have helped friends get a website set up using it. You might also consider Wordpress which is a blog format and also free, you can put your stuff out there talk about your journey and get feedback. It sounds like you are feeling very isolated but you are not, there is a whole world of people out there and the Internet makes it so much easier to connect. My best friend lives on the other side of the country from me but it doesn't matter she is just one email or text away.

Keep your head up and keep doing what you are doing don't give up on your work or yourself.
Terry
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#23 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 11:41 PM

@Benzine: Thank you...I paint with underglaze, yes. Straight onto greenware then pop 'er in the kiln. ^_^
@Marcia: ...I'm not sure what you mean...I use white slip over terracotta because the terracotta is too dark to photograph with my camera to see the image. :(
"Shows potential..."
...euphemism for "yeah, you have a lot of work to do before I can call you acceptable."
I'm gonna go sit in a corner now and nurse the sting in my cheek. If I only "show potential" after seven years of work that literally have broken my back...I better find something else.
@Pugaboo: I hate Hobby Lobby... but yes, I have an Etsy store. It's just off at the moment because I am too poor to pay the bill. Had a vet bill come up and my butthole ex ditching me in financial ruin. My clay and my underglaze are all I have. No car. My phone is my internet, which suuuuucks...I just gotta get outta here. There is nothing for me here. I really would like to get a website going, but I'm a bit dumb when it comes to web design. :D Thank you for your kind words to me. I work so hard. My hands ache from decorating for nine hours yesterday, no break. More of the same today. I have tried and tried for years to make my work look even ACCEPTABLE, and it hurts to be told by someone that a piece I feel very proud of only "shows potential." It just kind of makes me feel like I will never, EVER succeed in making beautiful things. I'm actually tearing up... my pottery might be crap, but I'm trying... :'(

Guinea,
You asked for criticism.Get over your insecurity and don't over react to something you misinterpret. What I was comparing was the strong contrast of your drawing compared to a green ware mug. Your drawing skills are fine. I think the stronger contrast in clay compared to what you do on paper is not a put down , but an attempt to help improve the impact of the clay drawing.I also draw or as you said "illustrate" my work. I find working in porcelain or drawing with a luster line accentuates the image. Rudy Autio used a white slip before starting to paint on his large vessels. If you are working in low fire range, try low fire white clay or work Majolica on the red clay. Look at traditional majolica decoration in Spain and Italy or even Delft tiles. You need a brighter base for your drawings to sing.This is a technical suggestion to help you.Not a put down.Cover the entire piece with white clay if that is what you have to use.

Marcia
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#24 LeeU

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 10:45 AM

OK, Ms. Guinea "furry critter" potter............this is from MY experience, so try not to personalize or view as targeted criticism...that is not where I am coming from  :wub:

 

When I was a student at the School of the Arts (Crafts Department, VCU) several instructors gave me painful "pull-ups". Pull-ups are blunt, sometimes harsh, reality checks that are used in an old-school drug treatment modality called Therapeutic Community. Screw up, and you'll find yourself scrubbing baseboards with a toothbrush or sitting on the Hot Seat to receive scorching feedback, or getting onerous pull-ups from the community.

 

Well, I had an instructor who was forever giving me pull-ups. And I really got my feelings hurt and got very discouraged and was about to quit school. He'd say things like "Art is not therapy...it you need emotional help, get out of my class and go see a social worker."  This type of comment might be delivered after I had to defend my lopsided vessel by disclosing that it was "off' because my hands were shaking when I centered because I was upset about "something". 

 

The day I was going to quit I ran into another art instructor, and I was crying at the time. She asked what was wrong, sat on the steps with me, listened while I moaned about this instructor, and then said "Don't you dare quit. You just do your best and come see me if anyone gives you any ######." I lived to fight another day, and earned my degree.  

 

(What neither of them knew was that I was in the shape I was in because I had been severely beaten by someone who knew how to not leave bruises where they show, that I was in a shelter with my toddler, that the batterer had totally destroyed my portfolio the night before the final critique, and that voc rehab was only very reluctantly paying for my school because I refused to work at McD's where they tried to place me. I insisted...with threat of legal action, since I had/have disabilities...that I could do something about and with my life if I could just go to art school.) 

 

Long story long: I had to get off the pity-pot, stop awfulizing and cease  whining about my sorry state of affairs, stop victimizing self, (participating in the killing of my own spirit by staying stuck), cop a positive attitude, and otherwise get a grip and make tough choices and tough changes to get myself out of the morass.   Making a daily Gratitude List, as much as I hated it, also helped. I had so little gratitude that I had to start by listing my ten fingers and ten toes, I kid you not. Oh, and I did avail myself of some therapy.   :wacko:

 

Eventually I came to see that the comments on my work that Mr. No Sensitivity provided were just as valuable, in terms of improving my skills, as the pep-talks from Ms. Nice-guy. Today, I have to own the fact that, by virtue of being a student, I ASKED FOR feedback on my work, and thus can't complain that I got it! LOL  :rolleyes:    


Lee Ustinich

 

 

 

 

 

#25 Stephen

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 12:19 PM

LeeU It sounds like pottery has been really something positive in your life. Thanks for sharing, u are an inspiration.  

 

When not walking in the same shoes as someone who is troubled about something it seems so easy to just tell them to pull themselves up by the ol bootstraps but anyone who has hit a rough patch knows it does not work that way. You have to get there and sometimes that means a lot of work.

 

Not a big fan of critiques. I know that makes the educators here cringe but they just do not seem to be that valuable. Look when you are asking another artist to weigh in on your work anything other that "that's great" stings so I don't want to put them or myself in the situation to start with. I don't need anyone to tell me my crappy work is crappy and if like it then I don't particularly care if they do or not, I'm the one in charge of my art.

 

As an alternative I am trying to be really engaged with pottery and what others are doing so my own opinion about my own work has more merit. Besides if you pot very much at all you have to start selling and when you start selling that is when you start getting the one opinion that does matter above your own, the customers. 



#26 Cavy Fire Studios

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 03:31 PM

Leeu...I would have broken that instructor's nose and gone to jail. That is not a "pull-up," that is cruelty...ESPECIALLY for what you were enduring. And guess what, Mr. Butthole Teacher, psychological rehabilitation facilities use art ALL-THE-TIME to heal their patients' emotional illnesses. Go suck a bisque.

That's one thing...I won't put up with personal attacks like that. And unfortunately, sometimes the whole "suck it up" approach doesn't work...ask Robin Williams. We all react to crap situations differently. Though I cry easily, I am fire-breather, too. I just choose to keep that side of me off here. :D

AND THANKS STEPHEN <3
"I wheek; therefore, I am."
-Guinea
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#27 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 03:56 PM

Guinea,
If you can't make decals you could make prints of your drawing using that litho technique on CAD. I used it for reproducing a drawing as well as old photos. It is easy and can reproduce drawing very well.here are 2 tiles I made from copied archival prints. You can xerox drawings and print them, vary their sizes and transfer them onto clay with a mason stain/linseed oil ink.

You can get good variated tonal qualities.

Attached Files


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#28 Chantay

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 09:36 AM

Marcie,
Can you direct me to more details and instructions using this technique? How exactly do you do the transfer writhe the mason stain and linseed oil?
- chantay

#29 Diesel Clay

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 08:34 PM

http://www.foragestu...com/decal-love/

Just in case anyone else wants to design their own waterslide china paint decals.

#30 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 11:06 PM

I used to work with somebody who thought every pot he made was the best ever. I am not sure who he was trying to convince. Very good skill to have when selling work but not while making. 

 

I am still looking to find my way into selling well. Right now I am with the few posts I did read and constantly criticizing my work in front of people. Once it is made I need to lose ownership.


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#31 Isculpt

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 02:49 AM

Leeu, thanks for sharing your story.  It's a powerful reminder that it is easy to get stuck in a negative place filled with a soundtrack of all the reasons we CAN'T do something and all the ways that life has cheated us. Alternatively we can make a determined effort to focus on the positive (ten fingers and toes is as good a place to start as any!) and to recognize that most of us have the power to create the life we want.  Making art is such a joy that we naturally want the world to adapt to us so that we can keep doing it, but it just doesn't work that way. Like it or not, for most people to create art, they have to accept that there is a cost -- whether it's living on the financial edge or working a part time job to help pay the bills or adapting their work to suit the market or any of a zillion ways that life extracts the toll.  We aren't entitled to make art; it is a right that we have to earn through talent, hard work and sacrifice.   

 

It is hard to break the negative soundtrack that afflicts many of us and even harder to create a new one, but it's absolutely necessary if you want to move on to a better place.  What is the saying -- "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results".  If something isn't working, it's time to change what you're doing, how you're doing it or where you're doing it.  

 

The 26 words that you put in boldface type are enough to change a life, as you have proven with your own.  Thanks again for caring enough to share a painful tale in order to help Guneapotter (and probably many others) through a rough patch.



#32 Tyler Miller

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 04:21 AM

I don’t think either Marcia’s or LeeU’s wisdom in this matter can be under-appreciated, here.  Both have given excellent advice, especially LeeU's boldface type.  I can’t add on anything they say (mostly because I don’t have the life experience or ceramics experience they have).  But I think the positive example of Josiah Wedgwood’s life might complement what’s been said already.  I’ve used the example before, but it’s worth repeating and fleshing out.

 

 

Wedgwood was born into a pottery family and was already working by 9.  At 11, he contracted smallpox.  It left him unable to kick a wheel and he lost his leg later on.  And it must be said that this probably left him with excruciating pain for a lot of his life, first from an infected limb and then from what followed.

 

But he didn't let it bother him.  He hand built, modelled, slip cast, upped his ceramic chemistry game (inventing new clay bodies (jasperware), glazes, and ceramic technology (he invented a pyrometer), and built a factory with powered-drive wheels and lathes.  The man literally changed the ceramic discipline to fit his needs, and modernized the industry as a result.

 

Then, when he started going blind, he said this, and it’s the most inspiring quote I’ve ever come across:  'I am often practising to see with my fingers & think I should make a tolerable proficient in that science for one who begins his studies so late in life, but shall make a wretched walker in the dark with a single leg.'  He was practising for when he was totally blind, so that he could continue on, and then has the steely nerve to joke about his condition!  Never once did he ever play the victim.  He wasn’t a victim.  He was a powerful lion of a man who charged into his own personal battle, had a few losses, but won.

 

Oh! And he was an ardent fighter for the abolition of slavery.  He even produced little anti-slavery ceramic cameo medallions.  He fought for others who couldn’t fight for themselves. 

 

Cultivate your inner Josiah Wedgwood.  Don’t be afraid of your weaknesses and shortcomings.  Acknowledge them, work with them, overcome them, and then laugh at them.  No one can do it for you.



#33 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 05:30 AM

Guinea, I had to smile, reading that you lost your sleep over one (constructive, IMO!) critique. Reading all the posts here, I see that you got at least 90% positive messages about your work. Did you see that too? 

 

When you ask openly about the opinion of fellow potters, you first have to reflect if you can cope with critique (constructive or not). If not, it's better to not ask. If you just want to get "tender loving care", you should construct your question accordingly. But hey, you can't grow with only backslapping Guinea. My experience in life was, and still is, that people who told me what is good and what is not (yet) so good in my work helped me getting where I'am now much more than people who only wanted to be nice, and unfortunately didn't tell me that this object or that was really not good enough to "offer- to- MOMA" for example. We are friends here in this forum, not foes. And friends are here to tell you the truth, before a gallery owner or potential client will do. Friends are here to help you see and reflect and question your own work as long as it takes for you to be more self-confident and pleased with your work.

 

I wish you many well-meaning friends and a lot of success in finding your own confidence!

 

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#34 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 07:50 AM

Chantay,
I got the information on the litho process on ceramic art daily video. Look up litho image transfer.
Marcia
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#35 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 08:03 AM

I tried the technique from that video, works really well but I found it quite messy and I never took it much further.

 

It is really easy as long as you have a printer that prints with toner.

 

http://ceramicartsda...images-on-clay/

 

Marcie,
Can you direct me to more details and instructions using this technique? How exactly do you do the transfer writhe the mason stain and linseed oil?


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#36 ChenowethArts

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 08:20 AM

TheGuineaPotter, I hope that you have already gained something even if just from the volume of response from your clay connections here on the forum.
 
There is one thing you mention that really stuck with me.  The idea that your wheel-thrown pieces are your canvas.  If the rest of your drawing work is any indication of the quality you produce, I think you need to explore all of the canvas options available to you with clay...and it may not be 100% wheel thrown work.  I could easily see your work on tiles, hand-built sculptural pieces, or figurative work that compliments your command of drawing human forms.

 

I would be interested to know if you draw/design your clay forms and include the artistic/paint/draw aspects of the project at the same time.  There is such an energy to your drawing work that I believe it should push you to more powerful canvas designs.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with your clay forms but I sense you have abilities beyond what you are doing right now that could separate you from the pack.  Take the sketch image that you shared, for example...what clay form/canvas could you build that would  allow that drawing to be more than a beautifully produced decoration?

 

OK, I didn't answer the insecurity question...'pretty sure that we all have them (me included).  I guess that I have learned to celebrate my successes, regardless how small, and let those stands of hope to tilt the balance scale away from too much self-criticism.  Yep..that's easier said than done.

 

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#37 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 08:04 AM

Kinko's works or printers in commercial sites such as Office Depot or Staples or neighborhood printing services. I also used the post office printer in France.
I get gum Arabic from Amazon.com

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#38 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 01:14 PM

If making decals is not your thing, perhaps drawing on your pots with underglaze pencils? You clearly have more confidence with your drawing skills, so why not transfer that to the pots? 

 

As for Marcia- I think she offered very positive advice.  I don't understand how any slight offense could have been taken. Although sometimes it sucks to work hard on something and find out that it's not as perfect as we would like, if we only live in our minds we will not expand. 

 

To me, art is therapy, but in art school art is a practice. I keep my sh*! together, but when I am making pots I do feel intense therapy takes place at the wheel.  However, when I walk away from that wheel and deal with other people, that therapy stays at the wheel.  Lashing out at people who offer critique of any kind is showing that the therapy is not working. 


~ Namaste ~

 

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"To me the greatest thing is to live beauty in our daily life and to crowd every moment with things of beauty.  It is then, and then only that  the art of the people as a whole is endowed with it's richest significance.  For it's products are those made by great a many craftsmen for the mass of the people, and the moment this art declines the life of the nation  is removed far away from beauty.  So long as beauty abides in only in a few articles created by a few geniuses, the kingdom of beauty is nowhere near realization."                                                                                 - Bernard Leach 

#39 Chris Campbell

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 04:20 PM

Re: critiques ...

An honest critique by a person with an educated eye might set you back a day or two with hurt feelings but a "nice" critique, given so as not to challenge or offend, can set your work back by years. I would rather get the first type myself since I cannot afford the second.
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#40 Joseph F

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 04:28 PM

Re: critiques ...

An honest critique by a person with an educated eye might set you back a day or two with hurt feelings but a "nice" critique, given so as not to challenge or offend, can set your work back by years. I would rather get the first type myself since I cannot afford the second.

 

Well said.







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