Monday, April 21, 2014

10,000 HOURS

There is that old adage that it takes 10,000 hours to master something or become an expert at it. I wonder how that relates to a potter with a piece of bamboo cutting the kodai on a pot, is it relative to hours or number of pots? If you think about how many pots a potter makes, especially a Japanese potter who hand cuts the feet on many of his pieces, how many pieces did it take to get good at mastering what seems to be such a simple task that is in fact, exceptionally difficult? The illustration is a video grab from a video of Suzuki Osamu cutting a foot out of fairly wet clay with only a sharpened piece of wood. His cuts are direct, fast and well practiced, almost to a formula, but if you have seen many feet on his pots, it is obvious each and every one has its own personality and distinctness while relating back to his body of his work. As I watch his video, I ask myself, does it ever get as easy as he makes it appear?