I very much valued the lesson in the long run. It taught me that I had to be my own quality control if I wanted to make money as a potter. I wasn’t doing pottery as a hobby, I was trying to be a production potter, I made bowls and plates in mass to sell. By holding on to imperfect pieces to the stage of bisque firing, I was wasting clay I could recycle, I could of wasted effort and money to glaze the piece, and for what? The chance to have a stack of seconds or mistakes that I couldn’t sell for top value?
As a production potter, when you bring seconds to the table with your majority of perfect pieces, you show possible clients what you feel is not acceptable. Then a portion of those possible clients take that as an opportunity to fine tooth you pieces and demand a discount for the most minor of variation. Secondly, it puts your brand on a piece you are not proud of and wouldn’t want to speak for you for what? The chance to make back a 5th or 10th the value of your time?
This is a lesson successful artists often learn the hard and expensive way and unsuccessful artist often never learn. I gave production pottery an honest go for 4 years at UNT. My profits from the endeavor paid my large college debt of 30K, and put another 30K towards my home loan and paid my bar tabs through college. I sold ceramics all over the US due to the quality of my work and even got to see my work on TV commercials and featured in experimental fancy restaurants. I ended up losing my love for the craft not because of success, because of repetition. I found that simple clean lightly organic shaped bowls and plates that could be purchased at most Bed Bath and Beyond stores are the easiest way to make money. I got tired of making those and I had a printing business that scaled in profitability much more than I could in ceramics. But, the lesson of not passing on failures and mistakes has served me there as well. As I’ve seen the long arm effects of lost business from letting those thing through and the gained business from eating the costs and not passing my issues into the hands of my customers.
@Cairenn_Day, who knows maybe you would be on a different path had you had this lesson early on. I feel I learned it at the best time that I could in my development. It really helped me in perspective and effort.