I've gotten to this place where I want to be putting only my best work out into the world. I feel like if I'm doing that as I go then I'll be happy and my customers and collectors will be better off too. It's a bit difficult of course because I'm accustomed to making quite a lot of pots and of course not all of them hit the mark. And this earthenware work is still evolving so after periods of a few months or more I feel like I've out dated the older work. Not all of it, but some.
So I'm left with the question of what to do with the pots that were the 'stepping stones' or in some cases pots that I can now see just missed the mark.
I am making fewer pots than I did when I was salt glazing. I am also trying to put more into each pot and be happy with the pots before they ever go into the kiln. (That pretty much has to be the case when firing in an electric kiln, because it sure doesn't do anything for you like a salt kiln or a wood kiln).
It sort of all comes down to some sort of judgment on my part. Really looking at the pots at various stages, just after the making, handling, decorating etc. Also I have to be willing to discard things or know that I'll just keep them around long enough to learn from them.
Right now I'm faced with a number of pots that I've pulled out of the showroom. I'm no longer happy with them completely and would be be fine with just putting them in the shard pile. Of course, that does seem wasteful as they are all first quality and I could get some money for them or just give them away. I don't really want to have them out for sale any longer, and I've come to the place where I don't want to have discounted pots for sale just to get rid of them.
I told Sarah this morning I'd rather make up some small boxes of 5 or 6 pots and take them far away to distribute in the city or neighborhoods as little surprise gifts for whomever comes upon them first.
I've seen other potters who have dealt with this in numerous ways...clearance sales, 'second' sales, smashing things up and selling as mosaic, etc. None of that really appeals to me. So maybe my shard pile will just get bigger. I always feel very cleansed whenever I do away with things in my life that are no longer needed/wanted.
So if you'd like to discuss, please leave a comment. And no, you can't come by and haul them off for me :-)