I've been watching this thread since it was first posted, looking forward to participating. I love the idea of a quarterly challenge, with people posting pictures of their ideas throughout the quarter. I have participated in a similar idea with photography and found I was inspired and motivated by others ideas. It was always, "Oh, I love that. What if I did such and such?", using it as a jumping off point.
I, like many others here, do not like competition. I am very intimidated by it. I am an unaccomplished potter by any stretch of the imagination and would not like to be pitted against another potter let alone the caliber of potter represented here. However, I believe I do sometimes have good ideas. I am not always able to take them to fruition and I tend to do many iterations of a theme before I burn out on it or come up with another that inspires me. With a quarterly challenge, the early ideas submitted could serve as that jumping off point for others. Maybe, like me, the idea doesn't work out in the end but leads to more experimenting on the part of the original potter and/or others. And, if your work is fired at a community studio, like mine is, you are subject to their firing schedule may not have a completed work in time to meet the deadline, so I'd like to see "in process" pictures welcomed as well as the completed masterpieces.
So, while I don't like the idea of competition I do like the idea of a challenge. Could there be two different threads? Those who want to "compete" could submit their pieces to the competition thread and others who just want to challenge and be inspired, could submit their pieces to a separate challenge thread. Topics or themes could be the same for both, it seems to me. And if someone from the challenge thread decides their masterpiece is worthy of competition, they have that option, too.