"Designing pots and making them by hand- it's great today in this sort of plastic, push button, want things yesterday age."
I was interviewed about my work recently for an article on the Empty Bowls fundraiser. The article was primarily about the fundraiser, so I didn't go into the clay process too much. Like, all those steps from wedging clay to scraping kiln shelves- which I really need to do right now. (The latter, that is.) The reporter and I did talk a bit about making functional objects that are aesthetically pleasing. To me, though, it goes further than aesthetics. Hard to explain, but I feel there is a certain vitality in a hand made pot that doesn't happen with mass produced ware. It can be a struggle, however, to sell in this world of cheap, mass produced stuff. The process of creating is great, but is that alone worth the time and expense put into it? Being able to sell your art/craft at a fair price is at least as important. Which leads me to the famous Walmart mugs making the rounds of some pottery blogs. I'm not against the big box stores. I am against them making claims that they sell hand crafted mugs or other ware. I took a look: these are molded, mass produced, made in China mugs selling under $4.00. If Walmart had not made the "hand crafted" claim I'd be O.K. with it. But making this claim undermines real potters making real pottery both in the aesthetics department and price-wise. I'm sure people who already buy from potters know the difference, but I feel this "hand crafted" advertising is going to mislead others who are less exposed to the real thing.