Jump to content


Member Since 06 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 09:09 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Qotw: Are Our Expectations Too High?

Yesterday, 06:29 PM

I have never accepted, nor will I accept that all "variables" in glaze firings are truly variables. Some yes, All no.


This is very true.  A lot of studio potters typically think that they have all the variables under control... but there are ones that have impacts that many don't even know exist.  Industry gets its consistency level by controlling as many variables as they can.  But even they have ones that are hard or impossible to control (at least economically) ...so they have some "gotcha's" sometimes also.


The "unknown unknowns" are the places that the "phases of the moon" solutions start to circulate in the studio pottery community. 





In Topic: Qotw: Are Our Expectations Too High?

Yesterday, 09:18 AM

I think to "re-frame" the idea behind the question I might add that it is not that expectations are too high (as Johhny K points out above), it is maybe that the level of work and time commitment that many individuals are willing (or not) or able to put in to achieve those goals/expectations is where the actual issue lies. 


Having goals, even somewhat lofty ones, is a good thing, and the power of positive thinking has always guided me and those whom I know who have achieved their goals.  But you have to follow through on what is necessary to reach those goals.  If for some reason you cannot follow through to the level required to meet the goals you have set for yourself......... then you need to adjust your goals to a realistically attainable level.  Otherwise, you'll be frustrated and unhappy.


That above being said, there ARE many factors in 'success levels'.  Some are things that, no matter how high we set our goals, we are unlikely to achieve.  Knowing this is what might be called "achieving wisdom".


I am a pretty good (snow) skier.  (Was better when I was a lot younger. ;) )  Started very young, had good instruction, and had parents (THANK YOU!) that supported that opportunity for me.  I lived near a small ski area....... which was basically in the backyard of my high school.  I skied every day in the winters.  Long story omitted here.......... that stuff lead me to eventually hold a professional certification in the snowsports teaching field that less than about 400 people in the USA also held.  Getting there involved skiing in situations and on terrain that most will never tackle..... and many grueling skiing exams. Physical training, equipment tweaking, nitpicking.


So.... were there any "Olympic dreams and goals" or something like that in my head?  Nope.  Why? 


I had the pleasure of skiing on a number of occasions with people whose names anyone familiar with Olympic level skiing (back in the day) would recognize.  Like Phil and Steve Mahre.  Alberto Tombo.  And so on.  The GAP between myself and many of those other 400-ish people I was a part of and the Olympic men and women was so amazingly HUGE, that the reality was apparent instantly on the hill when skiing with them.  Could I learn from them and make improvements...... of course.  Could I BE them?  Not a snowball's chance in *&^%.   Many aspects come into play with that fact. 


One is physicality........ to do the "job" well, your body has to be built to achieve such peak level performance in the specific field.  Another is the willingness to push that body....... to and even over the limits.  To literally take life and death risks.  To risk permanent injury.  I was not gifted with the perfect skier's body.  I did enough damage to my body in the pursuit of what I did accomplish... and was not willing to do more.


Another factor is the level of commitment that is required.  A whole life dedicated to achieving that single "standing on the podium" goal.  It becomes your total life.  Everything else slips by the wayside.  Not much of a life outside the endeavor.  I had other intersts that were important also (like clay!).


Another is opportunity.  I had good ones in my early development.  Most of the Olympic folks had great ones.


And so on.


The bottom line of understaning......... I was happy with where I was and what I had achieved.


So set realistically lofty goals for yourself... develop a plan to get to those goals.... and stick with the plan....... and you'll get there.


If you have not read this book.... "The Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell ..............it is a worthwhile read:  https://www.amazon.c...l/dp/0316017930


Also this one......."Art and Fear" by Bayless and Orland..............:  https://www.amazon.c...g/dp/0961454733






In Topic: Qotw: Are Our Expectations Too High?

27 July 2016 - 08:44 PM

For SURE this is not about "the younger generation"... it is not an 'age thing'... it is attitudinal.  I see the same thing in ALL age groups.





In Topic: Qotw: Are Our Expectations Too High?

26 July 2016 - 08:31 PM

: there is just too many roads to be able to walk them all in one lifetime.



I have 100 lifetimes all planned out.  :)





In Topic: Qotw: Are Our Expectations Too High?

26 July 2016 - 12:17 PM

I'm with you there Mark.


Saw the same thing happening in the snow skiing field when I was still teaching that.  See the same tendency in the clay field.  See the same tendency now in XXXXXXX (fill in the blank).  The age of Instant Gratification


People tend to see others who are at the end of LONG and deep careers in a field... and have put in the time and study and heartbreaks and the dues... and they tend to want that after 5 years of work.


I love the trend being talked about by some in academia ... that undergrad college is too long.... we need to drop it to only 3 years.  ???????  Heck....... we can't get enough covered in the 4 years!!!!