One potter's quest for meaning in a confusing world. This is a place where I will think through some of the issues that fascinate me, but mostly it is just an opportunity to get some ideas down. Don't take anything too seriously. Sometimes I overstate my case and sometimes I draw odd conclusions. Quite often I'm sure I entirely miss my target. Mostly its just me thinking aloud....

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Please see my new blog

This is just to pass along that I am mostly giving up this anonymous blog in favor of my new one. You can find it at cartergilliespottery.wordpress.com

The rewards of “failure” and other lessons

“It is better to have thrown and lost than to have never thrown at all” Paul Keck (one of my students last night!) That just cracks me up! But it also got me thinking, and I woke up this morning knowing I had to write a post for my blog. The context of this phrase … Continue reading

Critical thinking

This is probably just me overreacting again, but I honestly try to teach my students to think about reasons for and against everything they do. There are so many myths, shortcuts, and technical dead ends that it seems like knowing why will give greater control over knowing how to do things. When I teach I … Continue reading

Responding to Ayumi’s response to my response

(This post is a further continuation of my thoughts on the conversation on Kristen Keiffer’s blog post about “signature style”.) Ayumi’s comment offers great insight to the working choices of any potter and probably many artists in general. The one thing I would add is that maybe our styles seem so natural to us because … Continue reading

Again? Not another ‘style’ discussion, surely?

(More thoughts on the discussion started on Kristen Keiffer’s blog.) It is apparent that the virtue of a signature style is a significantly unexamined article of faith for most potters. We find students hoping to one day arrive at their personal style, to find their ‘voice’ as an end. And in our culture of pot … Continue reading

Signature style, yet again….

(Obviously I’m obsessed. This continues my tangle with the ideas introduced on Kristen Keiffer’s blog.) The more I talk myself through this issue the more I think I understand where my discomfort comes from. And the thing that I have, perhaps, been waiting for -one big answer to the question, seems to be gradually replaced … Continue reading

Pottery, the new macrame?

Seqouia Miller had another great entry on his fabulous blog the other day. In it he decried the fact that museums are now using the word “craft” to describe art work that is anything but functional. By excluding function from this category we see yet another challenging definition that only serves to belittle pot makers. … Continue reading

Signature style -part 2

(I can’t leave this topic alone. Here are some different threads in my thinking about Kristen Keiffer’s blog discussion.) I wanted to name the post “Artists under the lash of an addiction?”. The more I think about this issue it seems that the compulsion toward a unified and unitary style is not so much a … Continue reading

Signature Style

These are some thoughts I have been mulling over for several years, but that have been prompted to the surface by last week’s post on the subject by the great potter Kristen Keiffer. She is also a clear thinker and has reasonable opinions on just about any topic. So let me start by agreeing with … Continue reading