One big thing that hit me during my initial grieving process was my complete lack of creative thinking. Making things or planning out new projects has always been my coping mechanism for stabilising my head. When my brain cut everything but the vitals (eating, drinking, breathing) out, it also completely blocked out the exciting part that gives life some colour.
My approach to craft projects has always been a little bit flawed to say the least. I want the outcome to be perfect but I’m usually too impatient to put in the proper research or groundwork – clearly I know the best way on my own. Then when the outcome isn’t exactly like the image in my head I get discouraged and give up.
Maybe in this new chapter of putting my life back together it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to change this habit, free myself and have a bit of fun.
Working with clay is something I haven’t tried as much as I’d like, one of the first things on my after pandemic bucket list is to find a pottery class and learn to throw some clay. I may have also binged The Great Pottery Throw Down, if you haven’t watched I would highly recommend giving it a go. As much as I’d love to turn my garage into a pottery studio, I definitely don’t have the skill, my bank account would be screaming at me, and I don’t think the neighbours would be too impressed if I blew up the block with a kiln. Cue air dry clay.
I know a few lines ago I said a big problem with my process is a lack of planning, I also know I’m a pro at overthinking and getting way too far into my head to a point of not being able to start either. My brain is a fun place to be sometimes.
Instead of overthinking, I thought maybe it was a good time to put my brain to one side and just go with it. I had a little chunk of clay left over from a misguided overthought project, what better place to start?
I will admit to seeing a post on Pinterest for a basic spoon holder, nothing too fancy but it looked very cute. I definitely don’t cook enough to warrant having a spoon holder, and to be honest the thought of not being able to clean something properly that lives in the kitchen does freak me out a little bit.
First thing that came to mind was candle holders. Second thought was three of whatever comes out of this. Odd numbers always look better (in my opinion) and five would just be trying to stretch things too far.
Simple and therapeutic was my method here. Flatten, press, pinch and repeat. Not the smoothest outcome, but who doesn’t like the rustic look?
I did make the mistake here of flipping these things over to let the bottoms dry. Probably should have engaged my brain a little bit more to think that they would sag in the middle. This daft decision did make me want to give it all up as a bad job and another failure but then I remembered the whole point of this exercise. Making something and not giving up on myself. It’s hardly a new chapter if I carry on with exactly the same behaviours.
They might not be the prettiest things in the world, but does that really matter? I made them and finished them, personally I couldn’t ask for much more. For anyone reading this who goes through the same self doubt and self criticism, give yourself a break and a chance to create something for yourself. I couldn’t recommend it enough.