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rachel's reply to "seconds"

updated mon 1 mar 04


S.E.W. on sat 28 feb 04

I want to apologize for the defensive reply I submitted regarding =
this topic. Some of you may know that I "jump the gun" when reading and =
responding to clayart topics that interest me or I feel strong about. I =
wanted to submit this post in place of my last one. I think I took this =
a little too personally, so I tried once again to re-write my point of =
view after taking my foot out of my mouth.

I apprenticed in a studio for a potter that had been in the =
business for 30 + years. During the nearly 3 years I worked there, I =
noticed her work was always improving and progressing even after 30 =
years and will continue to do so as long as she continues to work. As =
you can imagine, the volume of work accumulated over that amount of time =
was quite substantial. Since an artist can only display a limited amount =
of work at any one show, one has to choose what to bring and what must =
be left behind. Over time a lot of work, not just seconds, was seen as =
less desirable and less saleable and was buried in a storage shed and =
forgotten. Her pride in her work meant she only wanted to display the =
best and most current work at each show. I understand not wanting to =
show pieces that are not just seconds but pieces that were without a =
flaw but didn't come out like the artist intended. I agree that it may =
not be totally appropriate for this work to be displayed at "frontline" =
shows and could affect the artists image, however destroying them or =
hiding them away forever is a little extreme. Sometimes making work of =
this nature available to the public is o.k. as long as it is clear that =
the pieces are "seconds". Once a year, the Potters Guild she was a =
member of put on a "seconds" sale specifically for this type of work. If =
the time and place is appropriate, I don't think it necessarily damages =
the artists credibility. In addition, artists often struggle financially =
and being able to find additional sources of income are very important =
for some of us. For example, the raku artist selling his"seconds" online =
for $150.00 instead of nothing is pretty significant. Once an artist =
becomes respected and financially secure, only then will they have the =
luxury of destroying their less than perfect work. If I did decide to =
destroy my work, I think the suggestion of a mosaic is a good one and =
sounds fun.=20
One other thing- When I speak of seconds I am referring to not =
only pieces that were flawed due to the glaze pinholing or bubbling, but =
pieces that are "aesthetically" challenged.