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On Process Part I

One of the ongoing conversations that I love having with people who are out-and-out artsy types is the value of process and how meaning is created in the practice of writing/painting/sculpting and not just in evaluating the end product. Back at Cameo Curio I asked Hannah, who was exhibiting some of her beautiful works, which one of her own pictures was her favourite. I was kind of expecting one of those oh so waffy answers of ‘ohhhhhh, I couldn’t choose between them….that’s like choosing a favourite child’ or another equally mind-numbing phrase. But no, Hannah came out with a surprisingly rapid answer and pointed to a picture. But what was interesting about her choice was what she said afterwards. ‘Everyone else says that one over there is better, but the process of creating this one gives it far more worth in my eyes.’

For me, the majority of the enjoyment and value of making something is in the process of creating.

I think what is strange feeling like this as a baker is that so much of baking is about the end result. After all, if you think about the way that most of us go about baking, we’ll start with the end product in mind and from there we will seek out the recipe or process for achieving these results. Also, for baking there is a fairly well defined margin of success/failure based on how edible the end result is. There’s no subjective question of ‘but is it art’ if it really does taste and look like a chewy dirt brick.

So here are a couple of questions about process that I’m trying to explore in Month of Marks

What do you value and enjoy about the process of making?

How do you express or experience that value in your work?

I’m going to try and have a think and post about this more in the next few days. Any personal insights from others are VERY welcome.

I thought this post would be an excellent time to show some of the pictures of the baking that haven’t quite made it to the site primarily because the end result didn’t turn out as I wanted it to. Like hot cross buns which ended up with the cross fading during baking. And pictures of me spilling things, which is an important part of the process. 


One comment on “On Process Part I

  1. It’s all about the process! Brings in questions of how to achieve an objective, critical evaluation of work when there is such a strong emotional attachment to process – or how to communicate the importance of process in your work, I suppose.

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