Sorting through all of my images, I found myself looking back to the past at a lot of my older work. It was really interesting to see pieces I had forgotten I made, or pieces that were just the bridge for developing another piece. From each kiln firing, through the last 5 years, I continually try to refine my work, right down to the last detail. Sometimes I make big leaps, but it seems more often, I make small steps in refining my forms.
These three tumblers I've pictured show a progression from this form that I started working on about 5 years ago. The first image of the two green tumblers was from 2006, the tumbler image in the middle is from 2008, and the last image is from 2009. The form has changed quite a bit, yet it's still the same form I was continually working on improving. There are subtle changes in the relationship of the foot and the rim, or the angle of the carving pattern, as well as more dramatic surfaces from the soda kiln.
I think being able to write about your work is an important tool. Speaking about it is equally important. I haven't had that much opportunity for presenting slide talks, but it is something I want to refine as well. Doing a slide talk is not much different than typing up an artist statement or even a blog post; it's just a series of carefully formed thoughts strung together with images of your work. (Oh, and I guess those things like nervous jitters and that audience out there watching you!) I hope to be able to keep working on this aspect of my career so I am able to clearly explain all the aspects of why and how I make the work that I do.