I found that quote on Pinterest last week and I took it as my marching orders: get back in the studio. Now, don’t misunderstand, I love working in clay and I love my studio.
But for the last 11 months, my energy has been sidetracked into the reconstruction of my home. Building or rebuilding a home takes creativity, of course. Color choices, counter and floor surface decisions and cabinet designs to name a few. But alongside the design ideas are many days, weeks and months of waiting for the supplies and contractors to get the work done.
During all this, I lost access to my studio, kiln and wheel. In fact, my wheel and kiln area are still blocked. But my studio, where I do slab building and underglazing is unpacked and open.
New clay. Hurrah!
I love clay. I, especially love new, fresh clay. Last week, I went out and bought 50 pounds of new clay, blue underglaze and clear glaze. Wow, that felt good. But what felt the best was cutting off a big square of porcelain clay back in my studio.
As I wedged it and rolled it, I wondered how I could go 4 months without putting my hands in clay. It really is wonderful. Soft. Squishy. Smooth.
There was a moment of fear as I got out my tools and forms. I worried I’d screw it up. Forget some important detail. I’ve been away from clay for so long, I felt blocked and scared. But, as I put my hands on the clay, I began to relax and remember. I got out my favorite lace and rolled it over the surface. Then, carefully formed it into one of my favorite things to make: a lily vase.
Before I knew it, I’d made 2 new lily vases.
Restored and relieved.
There is nothing better than making something out of mud. Standing next to my table rolling out clay. Cutting it. Forming it. Feeling its edges and softening them. Pushing charms and hardware into the soft, strong surface.
After all the fear and sadness and chaos of the last year, I found my way back to myself. Making some art out of clay today, did indeed, make me feel better.
Fear floated away.
All that was with me was, me.
And clay. Hurrah!