Thursday, February 18, 2021

Breaking Through


Ice and snow covered my world for the last week. There’s nothing I love more than snow. But walking around the snowy park and frozen lake near my home, I didn’t really see it in the same way this time. 

Instead, I was afraid of yet another disaster to add to mounting COVID list. And many, many people were without light and heat. Working from home doesn’t work without internet. Do virtual schools give kids a snow day?

Creative ice. 

I’ve pushed myself through this whole year to create as much as possible not just to keep my work out there, but to keep myself going. If you read my last blog, you’ll know I finally hit the wall. Making turned into a slog instead of a joy. Creative ideas seemed to stop flowing and pushing myself just made it worse. 

I spent a few days watching the ice coat my trees and the snow fall. It was too cold in my garage to throw or trim on my wheel, so I found myself in my studio puttering around. I wrote in my journal, moved a few pieces around and rummaged through my closet. 

Next thing I knew I’d rearranged my studio. Again.

I took everything off my two big black work carts and flipped them from left to right. I pushed one cart shelf up five inches to create a taller space. I rearranged the lower shelves with bisque molds all on one side and clay on the other. I got rid of dirty old plastic that I’ve been using for the last 10 years which I’m sure isn’t healthy. I cleaned, dusted and mopped. 

Drip by drip. 

Next thing I knew, it was thawing outside my window. The sheets of ice were breaking up. The snow had melted on the sidewalk. 

Inside, I’d created a new area dedicated to photography. In the past, anytime I needed photos of my work, I’d go to a professional. When he retired, I had to go it alone. At first that involved carting a stand, tabletop, lights, tripod and cameras out to my garage. I moved inside, but still every time I needed photos, I had to rearrange my entire studio. 

Now, I’ve got a photo area all set up and ready to go. All I have to do is put my piece on the shelf, my phone/camera in the tripod and shoot! Here are some of my first experiments with my new set up. 

Melting happens. 

After all the cleaning, I spent the next day throwing. When I went to put the bowls in the studio to dry, I saw a total of seven new bowls drying on the shelves. 

What happened to my COVID wall? Last time I looked my shelves were empty and inside I felt frozen. But somehow, in spite of all the snow and ice, moving and mopping, something inside of me melted. 

The cold inside me started to thaw and slowly, drip by drip, my creative spirit broke through.  

And some of the beauty that fell outside, had somehow fallen softly on my soul. 

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