Many good points. We all have to make pots that are true to ourselves and that is probably influenced by our surroundings more than anything else. (And our surroundings during our childhood second).

One nitpick. Oldest craft? Not by a long shot. Try leatherworking, woodworking and flintknapping (stonework in general) first. And probably basketweaving too. We clothed, sheltered, hunted and fed ourselves way before we fired clay... come to think of it, surely cooking is a craft!

On Thu, 29 Jul 2021 at 09:19, mel jacobson <> wrote:
I fully realize that the times have changed a great deal.
No longer do potters try for the "life style" and make
clay the bread winner.

Thousands of home/garage kilns now dot the country. Clay now
is an advocation, joyful, more than hobby. If it brings in some
extra money, so be it.  And, so many work in Community Centers, local
groups and the cost of clay and firing does not really allow for making
any sort of income.  It has become in many ways, a very expensive hobby.

We now live in a "ready made" world.  One cannot escape it. It takes
a real effort to stay primitive. ( I sit here with a very modern computer
with fibre optic cable, Iphone in hand to create instant communication.
I am not primitive.

I know that my situation, living rural, small town Wisconsin is
unique.  My life has always been "big city/ International".  In so many ways my
rural writing is not meant to have folks copy me. It cannot be done.
You live where you live. Your own style is unique. It is, what it is.

My major concern over the past twenty years is that we cannot lose sight of what
clay has been and will be in our modern world. It is still the world's oldest craft
and a reason we came out of the "really dark" ages.
 Every time I fire my kiln, I re/create the "Rocky Mountains".
  If you totally swing to ready made
it does sort of "ruin" the thrill.  Making pots does tie you into the past, the far past
and it is exciting to understand that theory. You are a part of something far bigger than

I just cannot let others make my work, control my thoughts and words. I have lived an entire
life in clay trying to allow myself to control the media and being able to love the independence
of being an artist/craftsperson. If you allow yourself to be controlled by others, sad for you.

Today I am going to glaze 65 pots that will load into my small stoneware kiln. The glazes belong
to me. The "heavens" ideas are mine, and the firing style is mine, and no one has my clay
formula. I am still excited and thrilled waiting for the "outcome".