This brings up another point. I have been talking and thinking a lot about personal style. Ceramic arts daily recently posted an article of Simon Levin's that talks mostly about self critique but also brings up some good points about style. Simon brings up the point that he would rather make good pots than make bad pots for the sake of originality. This point really speaks to me and I think it is very valid. The topic of pots being original and "your own" is a major concern of the ceramics community currently and I think that it may be a little over emphasized. A lot of bad pots are being made today simply for the sake that they are original or new. I think that this is a very wrong approach to making pots.
Although this may seem like a desperate way of me justifying copying other potters it is definitely not. I am fully aware that I copy others pots. I believe that finding your own style or voice is very important and I am practically obsessed with the idea. I am extremely envious of potters who have found their "style".
Back to Simon's point. The ceramics community is very generous with sharing techniques and glazes and anything else you are interested in. With resources like YouTube, blogs, and workshops it is easier than ever to copy others work. A lot of time this copying happens subconsciously. I have found that controlling the impulse to copy starts with copying the pot you are inspired by as best you can. Say you find a mug that you are very inspired by. Sit down and throw ten of this mug. As you go you will find qualities that you like and dislike about the pot. Then make a second series of the pot and emphasize what you like and discard what you don't. This process will eventually lead to "your" mug. This is a very over simplified description of the process and it is definitely easier said than done.
Well thats enough rambling for now. Please let me know what you think about style? Is it over emphasized? Is it important?