At last there has been a bit of time to breathe! Yesterday I found time to just sit in my studio. The kiln was on its way down and I was keen to get the next load in but in an uncommon fit of patience I decided to just let the kiln do its thing. So there I sat, cup of tea in hand, mind in neutral. Then I reached for a bag of bits and began to play. I have so many treasured finds from my mud-larking and I am almost scared to use them in my ceramics in case I don’t make something good with them so I got a large sheet of white paper to cover up the table and tipped a couple of bags of treasures onto it and then I just let myself play. It is a while since I have done that – so long in fact that I could hardly remember how to. I have been putting such pressure on myself to get the greatest pieces ever made for the final push of the diploma -well that was bound to fail, DUH!
So here I sat, fiddling with bits of rusty metal and chipped ceramics. Not everyone’s idea of treasure but then, I am not everyone! I began sorting them out and then I started to position some of them more thoughtfully, wondering what they might become if I altered my understanding of them. Was this metal loop for tying a boat up? Was it an ancient Viking bracelet? Was it a handle for something? I reached up for one of my boxes. The poor old things have been a bit redundant for a while. I think I felt that they had had their day. I have been ignoring comments about them being what I do; my signature piece; some of my most successful work because I could not think where to go with them. In fact there was an element of panic when I though about them – Had I done my best work in the first semester of the course? Was I never going to achieve anything better? But here I had given myself permission to mess about and see what happened.
There is a really important message, well several actually, here. Firstly, Kate Wickam is right, we do have to go through the same old agonies over every new project. Sorry Kate, but there it is! Secondly, I should NOT give up on my boxes, they have massive potential so I just need to get on with it and stop fussing. Thirdly, creative people need TIME! Bucket loads of the stuff, with nothing to do but play. No schedule, no deadline, no ‘what are we having for tea’ type TIME. And finally, perhaps I should spend more sleepless nights browsing through books about people like Gillian Lowndes. maybe something will stick. What ever happens next, I feel another box coming!