It’s very satisfying to try out your idea for a pot, refining with each attempt until you come up with a version you are happy with. But what about reproducing that time after time exactly, in the quantities required to make profit?
To make a living, potters have to choose between two poles – to be an ‘artist’ commanding high prices for one-off pieces, or become a ‘manufacturer’, getting other people to churn out copies of their original by the thousand, competing with even bigger manufacturers to reach a mass market.
Studio potteries are the mid-point many have found.
Small runs of standard wares in standard glazes are produced by the potter and their team, with enough variation in the form and glazes to satisfy maker and purchaser. One-off pieces can behave more like art and give scope for exploration of ideas that keep the pottery style current.
That seems like a sweet spot in which to sit, and it doesn’t have to be small.