A video posted by Joseph Travis (@redfoxpottery) on

Recently I keep trying to write about the work of Ayumi Horie, James Gurney, Austin Kleon and so on. But every piece I write becomes torrid and dry, or it becomes a gushing piece “they are amazing”, “aren’t they creative” or “aren’t they really driving their work on”. I once wrote a piece about how annoyed I was about a particular ceramics writer always started a piece of writing about where he had come across the makers work; it became 100% about him rather than about the work.

For myself I feel like I am writing these pieces from the perspective of a fan. As it is for my research I really should take a step back and look at it objectively, why do I like this, why is this piece of work an influence to my research? How is this important to the community I work in or is it just about and it should be put aside until I finish my research.

sneak peek
sneak peak of the lidded jars

These are people with very strong unique outputs and aren’t afraid to play with different methods and techniques to produce something you wouldn’t normally expect. I see them and they inspire me to up my game, to be more creative with what I produce and how I show it to everyone.

Though like a lot of people I tend to put blocks on what I do; I can’t do this I don’t have the time/space/equipment/skills and so it gets pushed aside quickly and easily forgotten until the next time they produce something. Distancing myself from these feelings of “I don’t have” seems harder than distancing myself from writing as a fan.

I feel similar about entering the Ceramic Review writing contest that I really need to distance myself from the fact it is a contest. For me I don’t care about the prize of an Emma Bridgewater teapot, but I would like to write for magazines and see writing something for ceramic review as a way forward.

The reason I need to distance myself from the fact it is a contest is because I don’t want to write something that is obviously a contest entry, like when I wrote a poem for a poetry contest a decade ago that was entitled “I hate entering poetry contests”. Only having one entry this time it will be a bit more difficult, as I don’t have an entry to throw away on my frustrations. I would like to write a piece about Fitch & McAndrew but I feel that would be too narrow for the contest.

I have a few different ideas but we will see what sticks as I write the 650 words. That many words feels quite generous as people have to read the entries to judge a winner and that will take up a great deal of time.

Lidded Jars
a trio of lidded jars from a recent firing

I guess with everything I need to distance myself from me.



Since writing this I have been pushing myself to create output for Twitter, Instagram and my research that is a bit more creative than I was previously doing. I have been trying to put my anxiety to one side and do some interesting things.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.