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50 pounds of clay

#DailyMojo | Sharran Srivatsaa

My friend told me this amazing story about how his art instructor ran this experiment on his pottery class. I have told this story for years just like I had heard it and recently I found that there was a lot of research on this topic based on the relationship between quality and quantity… go figure!

Here is the link to the original LifeClever article. Excerpt of the story below:

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.

His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot”albeit a perfect one”to get an “A”.

Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work”and learning from their mistakes”the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

Click here to read the original article which was documented in the book Art and Fear.

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