Six weeks ago, my studio shelves were overflowing with unfinished work. I was having a hard time getting into the flow. Finished work needed to be finished. New work needed to start.
Starting with endings is never my favorite thing to do, but I know myself. I know I need to finish to feel a sense of completion before I can start anything new. Plus, my studio shelves were so full of unfinished work, there was no room for new work.
I loaded the kiln and prayed because I never know if the work will come out as I hope or if all my hard work will be lost to cracks, bloat or a bad glaze. I was blessed by the kiln goddess. Almost everything came out looking good. I didn't have to smash or trash anything this time. Only 6 pieces out of over 30 had problems and luckily, most of them were fixable. Shelves filled on one side and emptied on the other.
Then, came the excitement of creating new work. Followed quickly by the pressure of perfection that can overwhelmed me and, of course, stop my flow. My cure for this is to keep my head down and keep it simple. Get on the wheel. Throw one piece of clay. Put it aside. Throw another. Rest and repeat.
Now, I stand here, amazed. A dozen bowls, a few mugs, 4 new masks overflow the shelves all need underglazing, some need sgraffito work and all have to be bisque fired. Add to that 3 masks that need final finishing. A figurative sculpture, a sculptural vase and bowl need color and glaze. Add in 2 bowls that didn'nt fit in the last glaze load.
My shelves are overflowing with unfinished work. Again.
As I circled around my studio last month, wondering where to end and begin. Struggling with fear of failure, I hated finishing my old work and worried about beginning the new. I thought I was stuck once again in my creative whirlpool.
Now, I see it clearly. The creative river carried me once again, down and around from ebb to flow.
Well, to over flowing. But that's ok, my creative river has high banks just for this kind of situation. Because that's how the abundance of nature and creativity, well, flows.