Monday, 4 April 2011
silk screen prints, Kylie Budge
While sitting in my doctor's waiting room recently I was flicking through a 1996 edition of World Interiors and came across an article about the English modernist potter Edmund de Waal. His work is deeply beautiful, simple and clean, and very influenced by Asian aesthetics. A simple sentence from the article struck me as being quite significant. To paraphrase (no, though tempted, I didn't take the mag home with me) de Waal is known for rigorous critiques of his work, which means that he destroys about half of what he makes after it is fired.
I find this fact about his process very interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, at the time of the article de Waal was working with an expensive kind of porcelain but nevertheless he wasn't afraid to destroy something he created. Perhaps he could afford to be this ruthless, perhaps not. Secondly, he focuses on releasing the best of what he can make (or what he considers to be the best), and nothing less. So quality is clearly important to him. And third, there is something deeply thrilling to me about the idea of letting go of the 'lesser pieces', the work that hasn't quite resolved itself (to use an art-y term), and being ok about that. Not tearing yourself up about it but just letting it go and accepting that it is part of the process of developing and creating.
Does anything from this ring a bell for you in terms of your process?