When you make original work you tend to take your time to get it right.
I don't just whip up a batch of pots like they were cookies. Even though I'm not stoking a wood kiln or making 200 pots before I can fire even one load, more and more I like to take good care with all the parts instead of being as casual as I used to be. I work through the aesthetics and I refine my practice as I go along. You might say I "study on" pieces. I want them to still evolve so the final pieces keep feeling fresh as I go through work cycles.
I'm trying for deliciously good pots, too.
There's always that push to the finish line. Even when I plan to deliver very early, I usually manage to end up being just a little early, or (mostly) just on time. Sometimes I don't make it, and have to push back the line. Sometimes I just won't take any more orders, so that I can finish what is already "on my (ceramic) plate"---and- this is important- so I can still have a chance to build my own body of work. It's a constant balance with handwork. I have one particular customer who is content to give me whatever time I need, and I am so grateful to her because life doesn't often bring artists customers like that. I always say yes for M-M! I value highly all of the regular customers I have and try to give them good and timely value. Incorporated into this, there's the always-present reality that it's just me, working by hand, in the studio, not a factory crew. I usually like it like that- but it is a challenge. And sometimes I get in a helper to mix the glaze and mop the floor when things get too busy.
I try to dance with all that. I try to make pots that are my best. Of course, "best" is another line that keeps shifting the more years I work. There is always the biggest question, 'Does the world needs another thing?' to paraphrase the wonderful Danish wood firing potter Anne Metta Hjortshoj, and the late American potter Malcolm Davis, he of the frogskin shino glaze I loved, who (at a workshop I took with him once) talked about wrestling with that idea when he gave up his earlier work as an social activist minister. Artists probably all should ponder the Why and the Whether, the philosophical issues- while, to pay the bills (and satisfy the inner, urgent Maker Instinct, to coin a phrase), we keep right on with the How and the practicalities of what we do.
Like other potters, I try to find my peace with each "another thing" I make.
So... the latest bout of asthma is over. Good riddance to it. My next wheel students start an 8-week session today. There are bowls and jars to glaze besides, and a dozen freshly made cups needing handles. On with the show.