In a newly published book, Philip Ball has found out that 'audiences hate modern classical music because their brains cannot cope'. To experience pleasure, the brain needs to recognize patterns and rules in what it hears. Classic composers followed traditions and rules much more closely than modern composers. An important function of the brain is to anticipate the future. It can do this easily when there is a melody, but not when the music is fragmented.
I think that the pleasure of watching something of classic beauty is similar. The brain loves to see things that follow patterns, where each detail fits well in the whole object. If you see just one part of it, your mind can easily imagine how the rest will look like.
And like there are certain sounds and tempos the human prefers, there are certain curves, shapes and colors that we like best. That is why some ancient masterpieces are still played in concerts or shown to millions of visitors in museums.
What does it mean for potters? I think they should see themselves like musicians, and I mean classic musicians. Instead of partitions from Mozart or Bach, they have bowls, cups and teapots... from ancient dynasties that they can arrange, interpret according to their skills and sensitivity. (Petr Novak's bowl, in my previous article, is a good example of a very classical Northern Sung dynasty shape and wood fired with a traditional kiln).
The concert of Han Tang Yuefu and Doulce Mémoire in front of the National Palace Museum has sparked this line of thought. This also applies to us, tea brewers. In old times, people already knew how good tea tasted, how to brew it and with which instruments. The closer we follow their steps, the farther we can travel the way. Traditions don't restrict or limit our freedom. They guide us.