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Marcia Selsor

Does Your Exuberance Show In Your Work?

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Among my closest friends (who are also my best clients), I share work-in-progress images.  If I seem enthusiastic about those projects, it does seem to rub off.  I'm not sure how to measure exuberance...is there a Likert-type scale that runs from "Wildly Jumping Up-and-Down Excited" down to "I guess this s OK work"...not sure what is in between those extremes.

 

I would be interested to know how people share their exuberance...I'm probably not a good example.

 

Paul :)

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I think your exuberance is the purring when your are happy working on something you really like doing. Many people mentioned previously that in the past year they were able to start potting full time or they achieved a greater level of competence or they were now able to focus on what they really like to do. I was wondering if that purring or joyful heart comes out in the pot.

Has anyone noticed this? One example I was thinking was Mea's latest work. It is stunning. And she recently got into the Smithsonian Craft Show.I can see her happiness in her latest pieces.Any others?

 

 

Marcia

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It is odd that you would mention exuberance coming through our work because at my recent jury experience, my jury said that they would like to see more of my "exuberant, upbeat, bold, personality" in my work (must have been that second shot of espresso).  I tend to be very functional in my approach to pottery and I'm comfortable  viewing my work that way, so I am having to push myself a bit to think of how I can manipulate the forms and glazes I like to incorporate more of my "me-ness."  I'm playing with a few things but I am also not set on change for change's sake.  It is a balancing act to be sure.  Sometimes work become contrived when an artist strives to receive the accolades of colleagues.  That is a pit I will not fall into.  However, I do believe challenging one's self to grow and move forward isn't a bad thing.  I actually agreed with their assessment and will push to make some positive advancements in my work while maintaining a functional foundation.

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I was recommended to read Exuberance; The Passion for Life by Kay Redfield Jamison by mentor and former teacher, Bill Daley.

When people posted about their growth and being able to focus on what they love to make rather than what sells, I wondered if this exuberance was able to shine through and be obvious to consumers.I was thinking that somehow the joy of making would be obvious somehow.

 

Marcia

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Ah but therein lies my conundrum, I love the challenge of creating something that will sell.  I know, isn't that weird?  Almost anti art world establishment isn't it.   But for me, creating and producing something that sells and is in demand, is my one great challenge.  It is what pushes my buttons and keeps my head in the game.  It is *fun* for me and my joy of making.  I guess I am just a hopeless mercenary lacking in artistic soul.  

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Darcy, I get you.  And until recently, it's where I have been. I'm all about what sells and I can feel myself about to jump off that ship.  No, it's not sinking, I know what to make , how to price it for my area and how to sell it. And that has been cool and paid all my studio set up bills and bought some flashy extra equipment to boot. BUT... I have been talking about turning things around for a while now, and I can feel me about to go to the studio in this lovely ,after the Holiday rush, period and make a pot load of " I'm not sure what this is or who will buy it" !

The biggest change I made this year was to not do my biggest Fall show and leave that prep time blank to see what might fill it.  Guess this is what filled it!  Sometimes to do something different, you first have to stop doing what you have been doing and have an empty space.  .

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Im with Darcy.. i sold some mugs,bowls and such yesterday, i had a young man tell me that i must really love what im makig because it shows in the each piece ... I wasnt expecting that at all , yes i was a happy potter...

 

Those little candle holders we made like a to of em, all sold... people went crazy over them and want more, easy to make, fun to make and folks love them.. we did really good on our cups/mugs but if it didnt have a handle, it didnt sell= lesson learned... i am more excited now for whats in store for the future for us... our fun side is coming out in our pottery...

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I don't think I have much exuberance coming through, my work is more sculptural than functional.  I have always liked sculptures that my look like a normal piece of pottery until you look at that broken corner or crack and find color, texture and design inside.  I want to evoke mystery an inquiry, draw people in, I love it when I see them take a step closer and lean in to get a closer look.  Denice

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