When I first started making pottery, I chucked most of my pots. In fact, it was quite a while before I kept anything (I am not sentimental). I held no delusions about the quality of pot I was capable of making. It is the same for all potters. In the beginning, your pots look like a 3rd grader made them.
But after a lot of practice, my pots improved. Mind you, they weren’t good, but they were better. But I didn’t keep many and certainly didn’t consider giving them away for quite some time.
After several months of throwing, I finally had a some pots that were keepable and a few that were givable. So I gave a mug to my soul-friend, Sharon. She still has it – she says it represents all that I have accomplished. (She is certainly one of my biggest fans).
As my throwing skills improved, so did my confidence. I embarked on a 50-Mugs project which meant I had a plethora of mugs that I began to share. Although the mugs I gave away were my best work at that time, my mugs have improved a lot technically and aesthetically since then. So I tell anyone that has a pot I gave them that I have a standing trade-up policy. I will happily replace any old pot for a new pot of their choice – believe me, the new pots are much better.
The thing is, no one has taken up my offer yet. In fact most of them tell me how much they like the pots I have given them. But the policy is there should they ever change their minds.