making obliquely

I’ve been reading about obliquity – how “our goals are best achieved when we approach them indirectly”. The author, John Kay, is an economist, and applies this mostly to science and business, which I like: it reminds me that making craft or art isn’t so different after all.
Stoneware former with writing used as doorstop
The first pot I ever wrote on was a throw-away – made as a kiln-support for a leaf-boat I was making. The leaf-boat is long gone but the writing remains, eight years later part of my mainstream work.detail of stoneware pot with inscribed writing
Kay sees the oblique approach as allowing iterative refinement of goals: “Success in recasting problems to achieve our objectives more effectively than we had conceived distinguishes the great from the merely competent and demonstrates why the direct approach is so often banal” (page 78).
porcelain leaf, smoke fired porcelain leaf, smoke fired porcelain leaf, smoke fired This reminds me of the very great Tim Gallwey, whose Inner Game books tell you actually how to do it. I can’t believe he’s not more famous!

Patience is a necessity though: I’m still waiting for these leaves to somehow come back into my work.

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