Education, Knowledge & Desire: Accumulating, Decorating & Collecting, Part Nine

Helpful and interested readers commented on selected elements of the current series discussing (the) behaviors associated with Accumulating, Decorating, and Collecting.

One, Susan Tillipman, on the Pottery Collector Facebook page, noted “a desire for knowledge” as the discriminating factor between the Accumulators and Decorators and the Collectors:

It’s a point worth taking, considering, and maybe even extending. In particular, “desire” seems a valuable avenue for pursuit.

One suspects that for Collectors, desire is neither momentary nor fleeting. Take ice cream, for instance. I like ice cream. A lot. But my desire for it is relatively easily satisfied and it is not a persistent desire. It comes and goes. More so in the summer than in the winter.

Knowledge isn’t ice cream. Hmm. Knowledge is more like the broader category of food: there, desire is persistent and insatiable. And, maybe, with a little tutoring, and after broad exposure to a variety of foods, taste is elevated.

In my reply to Ms. Tillipman I wondered whether we sometimes treat “knowledge” as we do (some) commodities.

As kind of a parallel, think of the expressions we associate with the ultimate in a finite resource, Time: We’re admonished not to “waste” it and instructed on how to “save” it.

On the Critical Craft Forum’s Facebook page, Charlenek Johnson offered a careful, reasoned dissection of the three categories and noted: “When [Accumulators] begin to study their objects within a context, be it historical, material, technique, educational, or any other, they become collectors and their collections begin to have a purpose.” Read her entire entry here:

She suggests an evolutionary process but not one, I don’t think, that’s self-generating. Ms. Johnson carefully notes a very action-oriented posture on the part of the Accumulator-turned-Collector.

Also on Pottery Collector, Steve Basile positions Collecting above Accumulating and notes Collecting involves “new acquisitions followed (or preceded) by thinning of previous treasures”: It does require discipline.

Subtle. Intriguing. Nice.

Thanks for the responses!

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