“Make it from scratch!” is my modus operandi for almost everything. I ask, can it be cooked, sewn, written, built, or otherwise fabricated by means within my power, and if so, will it be better than something I could buy ready-made? The answer to both questions is often “yes” (read this as an insult to most mass-made objects, not me bragging about my skills). I often sacrifice extra time to make my own whatever. Is it any surprise that sometimes life is really hard?
I feel like I’m starting from scratch, from the bottom, in my studio again. According to my image of myself, this should be exactly what I want–but it seems that through not working for a time, I made more work for myself.
For one thing, it’s a new studio in a new house. For another, it’s been over two years since I made anything out of clay. The time between then and now has been so full of good things, but also many heartaches, and just plain crazy normal life stuff. I don’t feel bad about the time elapsed, and don’t necessarily mourn the loss of the pottery I could have made during it. It’s a season that had to pass in the way it did, and I’m grateful for the relief of having had one less thing going on.
In this new, and possibly brighter, season of my life, I am starting over. I’ve found all my pottery supplies and tools and set up shop. Every time I work in here things fall into place a little better.
Some things are weird: I have no sink yet (we have to install one), there is almost no natural light (my previous home studios were well-supplied with large windows), and all my beautiful moist clay dried up and molded (come on!). My muscle memory has not yet reminded me which tools I liked best and how to use them.
For now, I can use a bucket of water, dream of brighter days and new lighting, and soak, chop up, soak again, let dry, and re-knead that old clay into usable condition (just as much hard work as it sounds like). And just keep working until I get it back, whatever it is that tells my hands how to hold tools and move gracefully to form that darn clay.