Monday, April 11, 2011


HK? --I don't know where my mom picked that up. I smile just remembering her saying it. I doubt my mom coined the funny little acronym, but I've never heard anyone else use it. "HK?" -- said with a li'l shrug of the shoulders ..... "Who Cares?"

Anyway, Carter asked (in response to my last post) if the folks who buy my pottery really care about my obsession with surface and detail -- do they even notice? Or do I merely make what I like, and hope someone comes along for the ride?

Well, if John ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Really. It's such a phenomenon that I've heard it over and over again in discussions among fellow potters at art fairs: When we've got stuff we really, really like -- work we're really excited about -- we emit clayomones that attract people like crazy.

And people gravitate right to the work we're proudest of. I'd call it magic if I wasn't so given to scientific explanations and stuff.

But beyond that, I aim for a "timeless" quality to my work. Whether or not I achieve it is beside the point, but as it is my goal, it implies a few things:

1. Work that cannot be easily dated -- doesn't immediately imply the date of its creation. And for this reason, though it may not be the hottest ticket in town, nevertheless, it will play forever. Some songs are that way. They sound like they were written anywhen and you can live with them anytime.

2. Timelessness at its best means work that will continue to surprise and delight LONG after being first introduced. THAT requires depth, detail, or something that will hang around after first impressions have been long forgotten.

So, yes, I suppose the detail is all about delighting me first. If I'm delighted, it's been my experience that others will be similarly delighted. They may not verbalize what it is exactly about the work that appeals to them, but they always gravitate toward the things that are most successful in the way I intend them to be.


  1. True indeed. If you pander to fashion it will show as an unease-and any sales will disappear along with the fashion

  2. You are so right about this. I have a perfect example. Last year one of my little houses came out the best of any that I had made, everything was just the way I wanted it. I was so excited about this little house and I loved it. I almost didn't put it out in the holiday sale. It was the first piece that sold that day. I had tears come to my eyes as the girl that bought it held it like she was in love. It was a magic moment! I know that when I am most proud of my work it sells better than things I'm not that excited about. Love for your work is contagious.