22 January 2014

Artistic Obligations

I have several exciting opportunities to show and sell my work this year and I've been revisiting the obligatory Biography and Artist's Statement    

"My work stands at the intersection of traditional and contemporary pottery.  I have a particular interest in medieval European salt glaze and 17th century English slipware as result of my training at the Winchcombe Pottery in Gloucestershire, England, but my earliest work in clay was sculptural and those two disparate bodies of work continue to inform the pots that I make today. 
    I started making my own pottery in 1980 In Fredericksburg, Virginia. Making pots for a living is satisfying on many levels. I enjoy working long and hard and being productive, all of which are necessary to success. Of course, the opportunity to go in the studio each day and exercise imagination and skill is enormously satisfying. I believe that my job is to make each pot as well as I possibly can. No shortcuts!
    Making pottery is a lifestyle choice as much as it is a career choice…it is an integrated way of living, where work and play and everyday life all dissolve into each other and that suits me. It also allows for a great deal of variety: not only do I make pots, but I teach workshops, exhibit, write a blog and promote a show.    
    My own pleasure in making pots is made all the better by the pleasure that they bring to others. I've sold most of my work directly from my studio and the opportunity to meet and talk with my customers brings me great satisfaction.
     I enjoy the aesthetic challenges of making pots as well as the physical labor that being a potter and firing with wood entails. It is important to me that my work be finely crafted and made to a very high standard. I love the architectural qualities of clay, the permanence of stoneware, and the sweet magic that occurs when good pots, good food and good people come together!"

Any critique is welcome. I'd like to sound smarter than I am.

1 comment:

Liberty Stoneware said...

It is that time of year. I need to work on one of these myself! I particularly enjoy the line that you enjoy working long and hard and being productive, and that those components are necessary to success. That applies to a lot of things on so many levels, and I think it is nice to see it in an artist's statement. Of course I like how you bring in your traditional influences, and that is something I sometimes struggle with because I feel like I sound like a textbook. You did well there. I would recommend perhaps making your final sentence a reiteration of your first, like a closing line, recapping the essence of your work. Your final sentence currently introduces a new concept to your influences (the architectural) and does not make for a good wrap-up (in my humble opinion).

More editorial-ey notes:
I would say "my work stands at AN intersection" rather than "the"
I would make the first paragraph three sentences- put a period after Gloucestershire, England and make the "earliest work" sentence stand alone.
Second paragraph, rather than "I believe my job is..." I recommend "I strive to make each pot..." Take out -"no shortcuts" A question though- is this sentence repeating what you say at the end of "that my work be finely crafted and made to a very high standard"?
Third paragraph- no three periods in the first sentence, that first line is a good sentence by itself without being a lead. I think you can take out "and that suits me"