PROCESS DESIGN — in my practice and understanding is the intelligent application of tradition based artisan methods strengthened (not diminished) by the use of appropriate tools and technology.
Quality hand craft has never been defined by single minded devotion to the traditional methods alone. Artisans of all ages sought the best materials and tools available at the time. As a artisan designer in the 21st century—I work hand in glove to support an artisan community which is dynamically redefining traditional craft.
As the son of an engineer—I delight in efficient tools and processes. The steps and sequence of a design process defines and determines result. A crisp smooth process will always produce a clean result. In my understanding—form follows process.
What may appear an esoteric concept is simple. Every cause produces an effect. When an apprentice would ask ” how do you make it look like that” I would say everything done to malleable clay has an effect. A few simple moves tend toward a simple result and many alterations tend toward complexity and confusion. Do “this and that” a few times and the result is usually clear. Do “this and that” a great many times tends toward a muddy result. The clean process (where each step adds an essential aspect) is reflected in the clarity of the result. A muddy process (where many steps combine and overlap and contradict) produces a confused result. A balance between extremes tends to be the best approach. Leaving self-consciousness behind while doing is mysteriously helpful.
Jim Danner (one of my early mentors) a superb wood carver would say when asked how he was able to create such a beautifully carved bird — “I remove everything that doesn’t look like a bird”.