Earlier this week I was emailing with the exceptional Elizabeth Duvivier. A part of an email from her read, “I love following along on your return to ceramics--- so beautiful!!”
That felt so good to read! To be seen and recognized in my return to something that brings me so much joy; to something that feels like home. I also realized as I started to thank her, this joy is related to so much more than just a return to ceramics. It is a return to a love of craft!
It is a release of a lot of art school programming re art vs craft that then morphed in to slightly ridiculous personal rules on what I should and should not do. Questionable beliefs on how I would or would not succeed. It is a dissolving of a lot of personal bullshit that is allowing for full on creative expression in whatever medium I may be working in.
The rules, my silly self imposed how to’s, are getting broken down more every day and it all feels so good. Collage, needlework, machine stitching, journals. Painting always, but now sometimes in new and different ways. Finally, FINALLY getting back on a wheel (a circle!!!) brought me back to my creative home.
The irony is that I was having this realization as a result of emailing with Eilzabeth, the mastermind behind Squam Art Workshops. It was at Squam nearly two years ago that I started to feel this sense of permission to craft again. That this return to all of the above began.
I remember having the realization upon my arrival in NH on a cold June night, that my ideas regarding separation between art and craft were more than a tad bit ridiculous. I had the same realization over and over again as I wandered through the woods with knitted tubes stretched upon them, handmade pom-pom's dripping down, and an occasional god's eye spinning as I passed. I realized it as I would enter the dining hall and see the various wares made in class (from baskets to dresses, wallets to wall art) displayed across the front tables. I realized it as I relaxed in my cabin with three beautiful roommates watching them casually knit while chatting about their own creative endeavors. I even realize it now looking back as I recall various instructors guiding their classes in such an engaging and theatrical way, the experience created for the student in the class a masterpiece in and of itself.
I think I realized then and even more so now, with all these ideas of separation, I had really been holding myself back.
Whenever one is making, call it art, call it craft, call it something all together different, it’s a beautiful thing.
And it’s the beautiful thing of making for the joy of making that I have finally returned to.