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 modernpots.com, 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?