from beach stones to birds eggs

This last week has been one of  complete rest, enforced yes ! but nonetheless I think the creative exhaustion I experience at times had beaten me this time, went down with the virus everybody had been experiencing in the office (thought I had escaped as usual) and the universe demanded NO MORE…….  to be honest it kind of bought some perspective back into my life.  The big questions swirled around, came to prominence and as quickly as it arose, it melted away into the mist as I tossed and turned with a tortuous fever……….

One of the big questions is about retiring, finding the balance, pensions, where do I live out my last years……….  An old friend of mine he left these shores long ago for Australia is just off to Bali to spend his remaining years, what an adventure!  Do I want to keep working? yes 1, because of financial concerns but beginning to realise this is not so important and 2, just love designing interiors and cannot imagine not doing this, do I want to be full on creating personally?  need to find a balance.  Could I leave my children ? difficult,   round and round I go.  What has been a great help here is writing my memoirs, this is not being written with the aim of publication but it is about letting my children know where I came from, what I experienced and what moulded me into who I have become………..  Now it all seems like a story book, a modern-day fairy story travelling though  each tarot card, following the heroes journey and the all the wrong turnings and teachings on the way.  Started several weeks ago in an attempt to make sense of things. So many projects on the go at the moment, and now I have committed to another, in my old favourite “paper”, watch this space.

So you may think, where do the the beach stones come in, well I see these as real earth objects, very grounding.  I am always being told I am a very earthy person, and born at a time when the sun was getting ready to leave Capricorn, I have one foot firmly planted on the earth , hence drawn to adorn (my usually unadorned self) with artefacts from ancient rocks !  As fast as being drawn to them and feeling the weight of the world around my neck I wanted freedom.  As always the inner conflict of wanting stability but as soon as I have it I want to fly off, try something new, be light and totally free….. so came the need for some thing new, new beginnings, seeds, eggs, the birth of creation, and birds eggs seemed to hold that promise…………………  as always made of polymer clay, alcohol inks, enthusiasm, patience and practice.

 

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Farewell and then what?

 

Busying myself today as always but today I guess  was somewhat different, usually I am in the zone, mind focused on the task, exploring without any peripheral thought patterns getting in the way.  Today’s experiment was making a whelk shell, why, cannot begin to tell you why, it just came to me, thought I would try to replicate the ridges by wrapping thin spaghetti type strings of extruded clay.  Just could not concentrate and my usual attention to detail was eroded by constant memories of the past.  Ok for a first attempt……..

What do you do when someone dies?    Said farewell to my stepfather on Friday, my brother’s eulogy summed up his life extremely well, beautiful words about quite a remarkable man.   Me, I said nothing, wished I had and had a real urge to stand up and say my farewells to the man I knew as a young girl when he met my mum and married her………  then thought better of it, took a deep breath and remembered it was all so long ago…….  He went on to marry Ruth, they were together for 30 years when  Peter departed this world, a really lovely lady who is going to miss him so much.  I remember my mum dying so suddenly nearly 25 years ago now, think I became a workaholic to numb the pain of that very sudden and tragic loss…..  and as time has marched past more and more have left this world , loved ones, friends and contemporaries.

Then the lingering thought that the long queue of ageing relatives that at one time were in front of me has all of a sudden become very short!  I don’t want to “not think about it”  I don’t want to live as if it’s not going to happen to me………….  I want to accept it and not be scared of it and leave that fear with my children to deal with……..  I want to both live and die with grace.

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In the zone

Up and in the zone, great feeling when nothing else enters the mind except for what is immediately in front of me.  Up to now I have been working with clay that is air dry, very  convenient and comes in all forms.  Recently I have a foray into the clay you bake in the oven, have resisted this as not from paper, but one has to try everything.  On the jewellery making front, I can see its endless  possibilities, but for me the endless kneading and rolling for the clay to become soft and the fact, that in the baking it can be a bit hit and miss and can easily discolour and take on a scorched look !

Tried various Faux ideas, turquoise, coral and pebbles have all been very successful, tried a different technique today, making canes.  I didn’t want some “neat and precise” flower design which many are, instead I made my own version of “delft ” a contemporary look ! in the same cobalt blue.  When I rolled out thin  slices the designs stretched and took on a whole different look which I pieced together over a bangle blank, in fact its one of the stainless steel circles chefs use to force their food into neat circles, worked a treat.  Ended with a nice “handmade” kind of look, which I quite like.

Then I tried a black and white geometric affect, again rolled out to give different sized triangles.  Again very patchwork and handmade looking.  Need to talk to other people who are working with this medium so anyone reading this get in touch or share your page with me……..

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sundown

Friday, thanks goodness its Friday, I do not know why I fee quite like this as my week only started in earnest on Wednesday due to being stranded in Malta due to Volcanic Ash.  Its been full on though, juggling budgets and working with spreadsheets……….  But tonight, it was glorious, a walk along the seashore as the sun was going down.  Normans Bay to be precise…..  images taken with my iphone.