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Applause for a Pause

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End of term staff meeting

Summer!! I am sitting at my kitchen table writing this, it s 7am. This when I think best. We are half way through our Summer Break and I am feeling a bit reflective. For me, these pauses between terms are essential. To the outside it may seem crazy when we are in such demand to close down, and I truly have questioned it myself.

Working in cycles as possibly become ingrained in me. Since I went and re-trained in Ceramics in 2000 my year has been divided in to three terms. Straight after Uni I was technician and teacher in two collages, and have been until I set up my own business in 2011. I guess you could argue it s habit, it s a habit that suits me.

When I was at Brighton Uni. one of the continual contentious arguments was when do the Technicians get student free time to do maintenance, many believe you need uninterrupted time and space to do this efficiently. The smelly sink trap being the most notorious example!

Up to my eyes in it!

When students are washing their tools in the sinks they have no idea that that sediment will need be scooped my hand in to a bucket and disposed of. It s not a pleasant job, as I said, clay gets a little bit smelly after sitting around for a month or two. Ceramics particularly requires a break, because it s such a drawn out process – a conveyor belt …. it takes planning to cease production, wind up and clear the decks.

Ask Louisa to see her jobs list, poor girl, not what she signed up for! For me one of the essentials is a deep clean, I am sure you know the health risks of a dirty studio. Dust clouds are created every time you move something – this is a danger to anyone who spends a significant amount of time in the space – ie. me! I am determined to keep potting & yogic breathing until I leave this spinning play ground, so I am hot on house-keeping.

 

Creativity immersion….

On a less practical: and for me an even more important note, creatively. I really believe in keeping a rhythm going. If life becomes one long monotone note I loose the will to create. I do love running my own business but it is actually the setting up that excites me. In my previous life in Pasty retail, I set up and managed Franchisees for a while, I really kinda loved it….. but I began to resent setting up other peoples dreams so decided to get a Pasty Shop of my own. To keep the story short, after the initial couple of years getting it established it did because a long boring slog and with very little break. A gift in many ways because it gave me the determination to pursue a different way of life.

My Colombia range, my latest passion!

So yes, when Louisa and I are on our knees scooping the goo, I have to remember this was my biggest dream : )

Every break I make sure I do get creative time in between seeing friends and family and cleaning my kitchen cupboards. Time to wander as a cloud.

Fill the well quote

Yesterday was a fantastic day, Russell Collins of Hook Norton Pottery fame and mastery came and spent the day with Rhian and I. A real privilege to be taught by this man, he has more knowledge of ceramics that the internet, it s mind blowing. Rhian concentrated on throwing large moon jars and I focused on perfecting my teapots.

The Master Class – Russell Collins

It s challenging for me to be taught by anyone. I have never been a natural learner, I find it quite stressful! This may be what helps me be a patient teacher? I think it s really healthy to put myself in that position from time to time to keep me fresh and remember what my poor student go through. I believe this is a reason why Louisa is such a perfect compliment to our team because she has been through the beginning challenge more recently and is better tuned in to the initially hopes and fears of a typical Ceramics Studio student.

We are working hard to keep your studio a sanctuary of peace and delight, we are looking forward to unavailing it again on the 1st of September when the wonderful Jane Adams runs her Animal Workshop again.

TTFN xx