Recently, I had the opportunity to fulfill an order for one hundred custom-crafted mugs. I recognize that, for some people, this is a sleep-walk in the park, and, for others, it is an insurmountable task. For me, it was somewhere in the middle. It was enough volume to get my attention, but not overwhelmingly intimidating.
It was fascinating to experience first hand, what the “Production Potters” – particularly those trained in the “Leach Legacy” – have said all along – in essence, if you really want to understand your process, make a significant quantity of the items you are making.
I should be clear that the goal was never to make identical twins – more like recognizable family. In our age of mechanized, and otherwise imposed, homogenization, my customer was happy to have recognizable individuality, personality, and variance in the final products. There was no attempt or desire to disguise the fact that each mug was made by hand. Artistically and philosophically, this suited me just fine.