Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy places

I've spent a lot of my life searching for what I think is going to make me happy, be my 'happy place'. Always daydreaming of things I want to try or could see myself doing. I think I found it.

For most my life, sketching and painting have been my passion. I have so much in my head, fighting with my hands to get out. As much as I loved painting, color and to put the pictures I imagine down on paper or canvas, it has never been my 'happy place'. Such is the reason for the struggle between my head and my hands. Any drawing or paintings I have done have always caused me anxiety. How weird to love something so much and be caused so much stress by it. I don't technically have to paint, and in all the rest of my life, I am the furthest thing from a perfectionist. To make matters worse it had gotten worse as I got older. I had to make myself draw or paint to ease my need to create but it had become a chore to get started.

Almost a year ago I decided to try my hands at wheel thrown pottery. I remembered loving it as a kid, 10-11 yr old I think, but hadn't done anything in more then 25 years. I had to start out in class of experienced potters learning new techniques because it was the only time I could get there. I was so nervous, and thought this could be just like painting but more frustrating as my work literally falls apart in my hands. I was waiting to hate everything I did.

That was so far from what happened. Long story, Short:

Not only was I able to keep up, I was doing so well, others in the class were teasing me, that I must be taking a couple night class. By the end of the first semester, my instructor was suggesting I start applying for shows, and suggesting I should stop giving all my work away and start selling pieces. While that made me beam with pride inside, my self-doubt made me hold out another 6months before I decided to sell anything. In the last few weeks I have slowly eased myself into setting up a shop, and on Saturday evening had my first online sale. Yay, me!

I feel like working with clay has set my creativity free. I love my pottery. Sometimes glazes don't turn out like you thought. It doesn't stress me out. I love it. It's like Christmas when ever something comes out of the kiln. I know pretty much what it will be like but I take a lot of chances, and the variations thrill me. I have never thrown away a bowl or sculpture. I haven't hidden any thing I've thrown from my friends and family out of frustration.

When I am throwing, trimming, waxing, or glazing I am in the zone. No headaches, no joint pain, occasionally my allergies do interfer, but I get lost in the shape of the clay and the color of the glaze. I have to set an alarm on my phone so I get out of the studio in time to beat my youngest's bus home in the afternoon. I seen most faults as aspects of character or a reason to make and altered sculpture.

I love it. I love to share it. It gives me peace. I have found my happy place.

Aine and Aiden Pottery * is also on Facebook. You can link to the shop by clicking on its name or the Facebook page Here.

* I'll explain the name soon!

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