I think that by and large potters feel like they're part of a long standing tradition. Often you can see the lineage in someone's pots. The spout turns this way, the footring is cut this way, the throwing lines wind here or end there... all coming from previous potters. Yet combined, somehow, it becomes new. Eventually, it becomes the potter.
Here's a modern (humorous) take on this evolution.
I have no idea how I came across this image. Probably found it on StumbleUpon... so if anyone knows who made this, please let me know so I can give credit. I love this !
Makes me want to see some Yixing teapots made in modern forms... milk jugs, remote controls, shoes... something other than trees, pumpkins...the usual forms. Then again, I just think it would be funny. Not sure it would be art. But Robert Arneson might be smiling in his grave.