For my coil pot, I made a regular flower pot, and played with how to make a hole in the middle of the slab/base. I liked the hole I settled on. I pulled little trenches down toward it with my finger, before I started putting the coils on.
Before that lesson, I had made a stamp, to put a design on it with. That was a pinch/slab combo. I carved a design and put a handle on it. The handle fit my hand. I thought I could make cookies with it, too.
When I came back, and was putting glaze on, the teacher came to talk to me. I was just glazing, clear glaze, even though I had asked all those questions. The pot wasn't creative or imaginative enough [for her to feel like an inspiring teacher]. She said the first part, and I figured out the second part.
We weren't being graded; it wasn't even for credit. She got paid, and maybe got art-department credit, for offering a night class people could freely sign up for. I felt successful because I did all her units, learned all her terminology, used all her tools, felt the clay in all its stages, watched several other people doing their pieces, and created a useable, functional, home-made flower pot.
I "failed" for not being creative (in the teacher's judgment).
I succeeded, though, because fifty years later, I still have that pot. It has had a dozen or more different plants in it over the years, has never sat empty, and has not cracked.
The title of the post is misleading; I know that. Maybe I'm more of a process person than product, but the product AND the process were, for me, were this: