Holding a mirror; I see myself not necessarily as only an artist, but rather as a craftsman working within the arts. Seeing as how the craftsman positions himself towards his environment is how I look towards the ceramic craft, its position in society, and the role it has among the arts. Therefore, let me tell me my definition of a craftsman:
The craftsman wants to know how his material "works"; what are the properties of the material and by which rules are they governed.
For example, if a glaze shrinks more than the underlying pottery during the firing, it will crack or burst. The shrinkage is one of these properties of glazes. The property should be taken into account, whether the cracking or bursting is the desired effect or not.
So the craftsman can understand - but not control - the property through practice, and use this property towards the desired result. In this way, the craftsman can do his craft justice by trying to know and respect the properties of a material. Trying to do justice towards a material is the craftsman's way to interpret his surroundings.
The craftsman is defined by his responsibility for and commitment to his craft. He will always strive for the highest quality and skill. The craft must be practiced justly, as the material deserves dignity and the craft demands quality. A justly practice of the craft is achieved through the sincere and humble intent to learn how to achieve quality to the best of the craftsman's ability. If quality and skill were not pursued, the craftsman would not be able to understand his surroundings properly.