Studio Notes 22/02/19

This week has been full of nostalgia. Memory lane has been more like a highway, with lots of reminders about the things I used to do and the person I used to be. What do I mean?

Echoes of my old studio

On Sunday we went to an Ikea showroom – Ste’s first time ever, and my first time in a very long time. It was strange to see so many of the same things I’d bought for my ceramics studio, like the plastic Trofast storage bins that held my clay slips and glazes.

Of course I was tempted to plonk down the cash to kit out my new studio to get it just the way I want it, but I think I’ll just take the furniture that gets kicked out of the rest of the house and try to work some magic with it.

Mixing glazes

Funnily enough, my first tech job the following day was reconstituting dried glazes and mixing some stoneware glazes from powder. It’s been over a solid decade since I’ve mixed any glazes, and as I stirred and brushed the rough glaze mixture through the sieve, I thought about all of the years I’d spent totally immersed in the world of ceramics.

I don’t do ceramic work these days, but I still love it. I’ve kept all of my glaze recipes and kiln books… knowing me, one day I might well jump back in. Even when you don’t carry on in a particular medium, nothing is entirely wasted – the skills you pick up stay with you, and I’m glad I’m able to keep on using them even if it’s not for my own practice.

The craft work

So after a few weeks, I finally managed to finish (subject to a bit of tinkering I suppose) a mammoth post about my craft business, why I folded it, why it didn’t work out like I wanted it to and what I could have done differently.

Batik lampshade with guinea fowl feathers.
A batik lampshade with guinea fowl feathers.

Thing is, I’ve spent a lot of the intervening years thinking of that business as something that failed, when it really did a lot for me and helped get me to where I am now. After I went to recover some product images from an old hard drive, I realised just how busy I’d been and how well it had done for me.

When you decide to move on from one phase of your life to another, it can be too easy to write off the past time as a failure or a waste, without recognising what it’s done for you. The truth is, nothing is ever totally wasted.

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Studio Notes 22/02/19

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