Being a studio artist can be pretty lonely. I teach, so I am not lonely (lacking interaction with people), but my creative/critical side is lonely. That is why I seek out other potters/artists online and in books and museums. I read blogs, search Google images, check in with online galleries, buy books, subscribe to magazines. Now, I can even listen to a podcast!
Brian R. Jones is a ceramic artist from Portland, Oregon. He makes functional and sculptural clay work. Last year he began recording conversations with other artists and posting them online via an iTunes podcast. The conversations are not interviews but a discussion about art. Listening to it, complete with airplanes flying overhead and interrupting children, makes me feel as though I am a fly on the wall listening to fellow potter/artists chit chat about what makes them tick. Lucky for me, Mr. Jones was able to attend the American Pottery Festival in Minneapolis last year and got to interview two of my favorite potters: Linda Arbuckle and Simon Levin. Recently he has posted a two-part discussion with Lisa Naples, another of my faves.
Visual influences abound in our current online culture to help me see the unlimited possibilities in pottery, but this can be overwhelming. Sitting in on a conversation, however, seems to pull me in from gawker to participant. It unleashes a more critical thought process to help focus my attention on what I need to consider when taking that next step to better pots.
I encourage all clay peeps, potters or sculptors, novices to professionals, to listen in on the Jonescast to be part of the conversation.