I am not sure that suck factor should decline over time. The truth is, if I make too many good pots in a row, I realize I'm staying in a safe zone, not pushing myself or taking chances. I loved Simon's realization that his suck factor peaked when he was in grad school, trying a bunch of new ideas and considering other people's criteria. I try to keep that going beyond grad school, seeking out crits, pushing myself into areas where I am weak or uncomfortable, and generally challenging myself to push everything just an inch past what i am comfortable with.
Good point. I have been experimenting and doing some non-clallenging pots. I have a climbing SF index. I decided to stop. Begin fresh and move into a new direction. In this slow economy, I have the time to experiment and no need to rush. Challenge is the key and as you say, Kelly, that is where the SF should be healthy. Go outside the comfort zone.
I like the idea that a climbing SF can sometimes be the key to exploring a new idea - don't all artists need to experiment and fail in order to perfect new ideas?