I used to think I was a very practical person, and that I should just make pots. But the more I discover of pottery, the more pots there are to like. So many styles, so many choices of finish, and too many techniques to count! I like to throw on the wheel and I like to hand-build, and sculpt, and glaze and....everything. I like everything, and that's the problem.
I can't seem to settle into any one style or genre. Everyone else seems to effortlessly float into their niche, and here I am, 8 years in (or is it 9?) and I am niche-less. I'm all over the map, sculpting stuff, making bowls and mugs, making boxes and chickens, with no theme or consistency in sight.
My pottery displays look like a a flea market. Even the colors don't match, because I can't settle on a glaze that I want to stick with. I am, however, beginning to see some patterns emerging, just a hint, that I might have a category some day--animals. I love putting birds, dogs, cats, bears, on my pottery. I can stamp them, paint them, draw them or carve them. They don't look finished until they have some living thing on them.
I like making my chicken planters, and dog dishes too. Another thing I like is to make things that are functional. I like the idea of my creations being used in every day life, and making every day life a little more special because my creation is in it.
Pottery is as much science as it is art. I think, when I got started, I knew this on some level, but tried to avoid getting in too deep. Now it's too late. I'm reading about the various stages the clay goes through on its way to vitrification, and half my studio is dedicated to space for silica, wolastonite, frits and oxides. I have books on how to mix my own glazes and I'm searching for a digital scale that can measure minute amounts of ingredients while doubling as a postage scale so I can ship pottery. All this is to say that you can choose to go as deep into something as you like. But the deeper you go, the more satisfying it is. After you make the pot, and mix your own glaze and fire it yourself, the sense of satisfaction is all yours.