ArtLung [Joe Crawford]

Web developer & user interface engineer
Tinkering with the web since 1996

email: · twitter: @artlung · (photo from instagram)
San Diego, California, USA

Pottery, Craft and Suitability of Purpose

Via Joe Bennion, a potter who lives in Utah comes a video on YouTube. It’s a short (24 minute) film about Mike Dodd, a potter from Surrey in the UK.

You can see Mike’s handiwork on, here. On some of the individual pieces, like this one, a short video with Dodd speaking about the pot is included.

In the short both these videos, there’s an attention paid to the utility and appropriateness. And also, a secondary importance placed on symbols placed on the pieces.

Pottery is a very pure form of design, and one of the oldest human crafts. There are pottery artifacts from around twenty-five thousand years BCE according to Wikipedia. The potter’s wheel, a technology seen in the first video, is one with us since sometime between 6,000 and 4,000 BCE in Mesopotamia.

It is inspiring to see people with a love of craft work, and speak about the meaning of their work. Lately I’ve been paying closer attention to my own craft. I have a notion about my work being a vocation as opposed to simply a job. The distinction provides me with meaning–not that I am my work, but that my life is informed by a devotion to craft. I have a renewed enthusiasm for revisiting websites I’ve not thought about in a long time. I am updating them, improving them, and adding to them. I am taking time to examine my own humble craft and pushing toward a higher level of quality in my work. I examine the suitability of purpose of these websites and web applications. Do they do what they are meant to? Do they do them well? Can they be improved?

posted this 12 years ago.

(Sunday February 5th 2012 at 4:16pm)

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