Years ago, I decided to make the seconds I produce throughout the year available for sale on the second day of the second month. I meant for this to become an annual event and the two 2s would make the Seconds Sale on February 2 a memorable date.
But what is a second and why make these ‘second class’ pieces available?
Let me make it very clear that I honour and respect what makes an artisan a great and skilled craftsperson. I for one have spent countless hours bettering my craft and always strive for perfection in my work.
But what then is perfection when it comes to arts and crafts?
Needless to say, you don’t want the favourite mug of yours to explode in your hands, nor do you want your beautiful, handcrafted tableware to arrive unfinished and scratch up your tabletop but aside from the obvious flaws that would make a handmade piece useless what are the standards we have set for a piece to become a second and thereby less valuable.
I like making cups. My cups are handbuilt and vary in size and shape. As a craftsperson I could spend more time trying to make these cups more similar in size, shape and design but I have chosen not to do that because I like the irregularities my cups display. I compare the cups to people and where we have come to accept that there are no two persons completely alike, we have somehow also come to expect that all our utensils, gadgets and other utilitarian objects are completely alike created from the same mold. So, I often use the cups I make to illustrate my view on handcrafted works. I like that they are different, I love that six handmade cups can be a replica of a family. And in my view, they are not seconds – they are just unalike. Handbuilding can mirror the irregular and slightly lopsided facets of life.
What makes a second then? In my eyes, a second is a piece that may not have met the expectations I had when I started creating or, it may have a flaw that still makes it quite useable but that would deem it a second, a bit of a head-scratching process to be sure.
Adding to the theme of seconds and 2s, I ask anyone so inclined to come in a Tutu. This creates a carnivalesque atmosphere on a midwinter’s day and what’s more it offers 22% savings off all regularly priced clay pieces in the Gallery.
Come and choose your very own Second on February 2nd. I very much look forward to seeing you at Westholme Tea Company 8350 Richards Trail February 2, between 11am-4pm.