Monday, February 24, 2014

And We're Off...

Winter has been less than kind to us this month. A couple members had trouble with the commute, and others escaped to warmer climes, so it was an intimate gathering last week.  We started off the meeting with a little discussion of what folks had done so far, and then moved into a sharing and critique of existing work. I was the only one who had actually started to make a project, but the others had some great ideas and were well into the planning process. 

I thought it might be helpful to look at our work as it evolves with the same kind of eye that our evaluators might examine it with. I passed around a piece I might submit for A6 - (Box with Friction Lid) and asked everyone what they thought of it. When I look at it, I see only flaws. I see aspects I like as well, of course - but the flaws just scream out to me. I wondered what  the other members would notice, and if you look closely you might see the three things that annoy me. If you do, list them in the comments section!

In the spirit of complete transparency, I had the idea for this little vessel last December, bought supplies and then finally decided to make it. While I was working on it, I had no intention of submitting it to the MR, but now I'm thinking about it. I'm not sure an amphora fits the description of a box perfectly, but it does have a friction lid! What do you think? Is it a box?

During our discussion,  I realized that none of the other members of our group intend to attempt all 5 levels when one of them said "Why would I ever want to do the glass project?" (C3). That started us on a whole new train of thought. What is your purpose for doing the Registry? If you're a teacher perhaps you want the accreditation to bolster your teaching cred. Perhaps you like the idea of evaluation to help you move to a higher level of finishing and design. Maybe it's all about the photos. Or maybe you want to push yourself into new territory - but only so far. 

My goals are a combination of the above. Yes, I'd like the initials after my name, and the sense of accomplishment that go with that 'degree'. But mostly I want to push my own boundaries, branch out into new territory of making, learn something I don't currently have any experience with. The photos are a bonus, but I'm really looking forward to the evaluation. I think I have a pretty good sense of design and function. I know I'm pretty detailed with my finishing. But often we don't see details that others might see, don't have their aesthetic, and don't really have their unbiased eye to allow us to judge our work in the same way. 

It's not that their creative opinion matters more than ours. They won't be making decisions based on pure artistry. But allowing other eyes to 'see' aspects of our work that we might not have noticed invites our own eyes to see in a different way.

So what are your reasons for starting the Master's Registry process? I'd really like to interact with more than just my Richmond group, and to have you interact with each other. I bet we could all use some support and have other artists to bounce ideas off of as we develop and work on our projects, right? Since the official group is only open to confirmed Registry participants, I've started a new Facebook Group that will be open to people who have not yet paid for the level one registration. Of course, all those working on the Registry are welcome - even if you have paid the first fee. Ask questions, share successes, post photos. Let's keep each other company and be accountable during this first, potentially scary, level. Hope to see lots of requests to join the group. And please always feel free to post anything in the comments here on this blog.

Thanks for reading!