It's a funny old time of it over here in my studio. I've started the long, arduous process of packing everything up for the big move. It requires a lot of sorting, culling and decision-making, but I'm making headway and it feels good to be getting organised. I'm still very much in production mode, attempting to use up all of the clay I have in my storeroom. Along with a plethora of nudibranchs I've been crafting more practical things, like rustic plates, bowls, spoons and platters. I will have a fully stocked kitchen of handmade ceramics in my new home!
I've been making plates by pressing a selection of my grandmother's doilies into soft clay, a method suggested to me as a means of memorialising the memory of the lacy objects my grandma lovingly collected. The palette has been kept to simple blues and whites - a combination that is resonating with me a lot lately. Last night I stayed up pinching bowls and crafting spoons out of the scrap clay. I had intended to spend only an hour or two at the studio table, but the process was so enjoyable I ended up playing with clay until late into the night. When making in this way sleep becomes a nuisance. However, I am careful these days to always go to bed at a reasonable hour, to keep the head and the heart buoyant and aligned. I usually work in 3 or 4 hour blocks, but sometimes the flow really pulls you in and like a sirens call, begs you to stay. It's always tempting, but I am aware of the long-game and resist the urge to remain in that space because I have learnt that a good night's sleep is one of the most potent mental health stabilisers. Frankie is proof of this:
This year I have felt this desire to simplify nearly everything in my life, from the objects I live with to my routine. The more I strip away, the more I wish to strip away. I can see the appeal of a life with few attachments, although I am deeply committed to the idea of a home and love "home-making" as a way of life. There is something quite nourishing about carefully and purposefully going about one's domestic routine. We can become bogged down in aesthetics, concerning ourselves with the way things look, instead of paying attention to the way things really are and the beauty in the everyday rituals of life. This is what gives a home soul - the attention that is paid to the 'doings' inside of it - the cultivation of warmth, comfort, and of course, love.
Can you tell that I am consumed with thoughts of home right now? In giving up this house that has been such a fortress of good vibes for us, I am a little anxious about where we shall be spending our future days. All I know is that I need a base filled with love and all the simple offerings of domesticity like home-cooked meals and a space for my collections, a place in which to make art and curl up on the couch with a biography or a magazine. Nothing too fancy, but something cosy and safe, within walking distance to the sea, and a little garden should do quite nicely please!
Ahhh, but there are ways to go before all of that becomes our reality. For now I am in my current studio, half packing/half making and enjoying the screeches of cockatoos and the wall of green, tree-lined hills outside of my window. This is where I am, in the here and now - the only place we can ever truly be.