Explore vs Exploit 

One of the lessons this week that had impact was the notion that underlined a basic balance between two different roles that are at play in the studio. 

Explore: Play, explore, question , challenge yourself.

Exploit: Draw directly on the lessons learned from exploration to effectively disseminate ideas. 

Seems pretty obvious…

Explore: The engagement of curiosity and play in studio life. An artist’s willingness to explore reflects in a dynamic body of work that easily attracts new and returning eyes.
Exploit: The work that draws directly on the lessons learned from exploration to effectively disseminate ideas, shifting back and forth as nessassary to effectively feed and sustain a functioning studio.

Speckled buff stoneware base slipped with a Willie’s white slip, paper stenciled and redlined using a cobalt tinted Willie’s. Fired to cone 6 using a studio crackle and crawl glaze.

My hang-up is that I appear to prefer the chaos of “exploring”, all the challenges, the ups and downs, all the BS (I seriously suspect it’s a manifestation of a personality disorder. I need a certain amount of drama in my life to feel normal. Over the past few years I’ve  enjoyed removing a majority of it from my daily life, but it still shows up… TaDa!) Unfortunately, I don’t have the same problem with “exploiting “. I do my micro-batches of  8 to 20ish, figure out what works and what doesn’t, and then move on (aka. loose interest once the project is dialed in). It could be a side effect of working without any real goals aside from just making the work. I wish I had more interest in standing still long enough to effectively exploit what’s been explored, but I feel that I’m in a race to get ideas out of my system before I just can’t.

Making products just isn’t a priority at the moment.

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