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funks and talent (sorry, a bit long)

updated mon 25 mar 02


Patricia Farren on sun 24 mar 02

Well, after attending NCECA and realizing how kind and friendly people =
really are I have decided to post a little more often. Like Annette, I =
have found some frustration in moving the form from my head to my hands. =
Sometimes it's because I haven't found the best way to approach the =
project and if I do it once and it doesn't come out the way I envision =
it then I move on to something else. I've started to realize that for =
these types of projects to come to fruition I have to make ten or maybe =
fifteen and perhaps one or two will come closer to my expectations. It's =
like mug handles. The more I make the stronger they are but if I make =
five none of them are just right -- there's always something I want to =
change. Repetition helps.

I think there's a point in the "career" of a potter (and perhaps any =
type of work or art) where one has good foundations and solid skills but =
has not yet moved into the work which excites or makes one feel he or =
she has arrived. I know that I am there now and that, like the beginning =
stages, it's a phase that I must push through, hard as it is to do that. =
I don't always feel like going into the studio or firing my kiln because =
I know the results will be a disappointment and not quite measure up to =
my vision. However, occasionally there is the piece that gives me hope =
and I think maybe I'm getting closer.=20

I tell my children that they can be good at anything if they are willing =
to put in the time and practice. I have to tell myself that, too, and =
think of the process, which I love. I have to note how far I've come and =
the incremental improvements I make every year. I often remind myself =
that if I keep at it, in ten years I will be closer to my goal. If I =
stop, where will I be and what will I be doing in ten years that =
interests me more?

Anyway, just some thoughts on this as I identify with many of the posts.


Annette Frank
This thread touches a really sore point with me. I am full of ideas. My
head is bursting with them. I can easily spend days imagining the
finished piece. However I totally lack the skills to interpret mental
picture into clay. I have read a lot about techniques, I take workshops,
I understand what has to be done, but hands and mind refuse to work in
concert. I always hope that the next one will be perfect, but I have so
many next ones, that I don even like to go into the studio anymore.
Finally came to the conclusion, that either you have it, or you don't.
I, and of course the world, was very lucky that I did not have to pot
for a living, but the frustration is very real.
I don't contribute much to CLAYART, but I am very much part of the group
and thanks for listening.