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QotW: What Were You Thinking?

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This weeks question of the week comes to us from @LeeU and is "what were you thinking?" insofar as how do you come up with ideas?

I tend to come up with an idea for something then think about it over a few days, make up a few prototypes, sometimes a drawing then look for design flaws or areas that could be improved. (I mostly make functional pots) I often do look at others work, not to copy but to kick start my thought process.

Thanks for your question Lee! If anybody else has some question ideas they are always more than welcome in this thread.

Lee wrote: 

"This is in the vein of "what were you thinking", which I ask myself often. My inquiry for a possible QotW subject is this: how do Forum clay artists, potters, sculptors woking in clay, hobbyists, professional gallery exhibiters, instructors, production ceramacists,  etc. come to their ideas? I'm curious about whether ceramicists do, or do not, or can not, articulate in advance formative ideas. Are there identifiable/describable processes that indivduals use, which they consciously recognize and employ as a route to generating ideas for their work? I think a "sampler" of such approaches and techinques would be really interesting!"

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Some things I've made because somebody would ask me, "Do you make _____?" and I think, "How hard could that be?" to which I later reply, "What was I thinking?" :D

I also largely make functional pieces. I like to think about whether what I make is suited for ceramics. For example, I wouldn't make a ceramic wine goblet because I think a huge amount of appreciating wine comes from looking at it. I also wouldn't make something for a cooktop because metal pots are so much better IMO. 

Probably a lot of people come to ideas as serendipitous offshoots of something else they are working on. I work with slabs often now because of a back injury and couldn't sit at my wheel. I had made an altered bottomless wheel thrown vase, and wanted to replicate the shape with slab, and that is now the main form of vases that I make. 

I love drawing in my sketchbook. Everything new goes there first before I try it out. It helps me visualize colors, patterns, angles and dimensions.

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1 hour ago, kswan said:

Some things I've made because somebody would ask me, "Do you make _____?" and I think, "How hard could that be?" to which I later reply, "What was I thinking?" :D


LOL, I've done that in the past too.  I have a really good customer who kept asking me for a plate cover for the microwave. I broke down and made a few of them, she bought one and the rest landed up in my clearance bin.  I am super interested in what people ask for though, if enough people ask me about a certain item I will start thinking about making it. My mistake with the microwave plate cover was it was only her who asked for it.

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I am not much of a functional potter but I have made some odd functional items for my son.   I  also made sets of dishes for handicap people,  I was inspired by my babysitter.   Her daughter only had partial use of one arm,  she wanted a set of dishes for her that wasn't plastic.   My murals and tiles come from pure imagination and inspiration.    Denice

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