As a potter, I’ve landed on a strategy for making my work that suits my temperament. Work is developed in small batches, limited to the amount of work that fits on a few ware boards at a time. Forms may be made with a set design in mind, but any adherence to a plan is generally loose at best. Form is regulated by exploration of personal taste and adherence to personal standards. Simple and somewhat routine.
… but while the form is a product of craft, created in adherence to an asthetics of functionality, form isn’t the end goal, form is a surface used for exploration of expression. The aesthetics of functionality is set boundaries dictated by tradition. Form that falls outside of personal standards is edited with a hammer. The aesthetics of surface are limited only by skill, taste, and curiosity, and while risk taking is encouraged, work that falls outside of personal tastes is openly questioned, occasionally applauded, but more often scrapped. As a consequence, a loss rate well over 50% is not unfamiliar in the ceramics studio.
Much the same approach is beginning to creep into the drawing studio. While learning the craft of drawing, risk taking is encouraged and as a consequence, most work is questionable.
I don’t know what makes a work “good” but I feel that I recognize “bad” when I see it. Unfortunately, what seems to interest me the most is work that seems interestingly problematic (not bad).
Interestingly Problematic Work in this case implies work that’s outside expectation, that proudly shares its character flaw as a celebration for being what is, and doesn’t feel the need to emulate in order to validate.