Why is a ceramacist posting a picture of a flower wreath I hear you ask?
Well, it's simple. I kindof failed this month to get into my studio and make any of the long list of commissions, or fulfill any new ideas that are burning a hole in my sketchbook. It's tough to admit defeat- but I always knew that with two holidays planned and the long school summer break I wouldn't be making much during August, or be able to give much attention to #wipsandblooms.
Fortunately, I was able to top up on creativity when I attended the www.hillviewmoments.com/Hillview Farm Creative Festival, organised by @takingamomentintime.
The retreat was a good balance of wool based and other creative disciplines including indigo dying, macrame and mobile making. At this retreat I met a whole heap of lovely ladies, and was able to take part in some fun workshops, allowing me to stretch my creativity in a different direction, as well as having the reward of making something that I got to keep. (which makes a nice change!) The photo above was from @olgaprinku's workshop, who I met for the very first time - such down-to-earth
creative lady! As well as Olga, it was great to meet other makers to talk about running your own business, the joys and downfalls of social media, and reflect about our priorities in how we manage these tasks as well as being a mother, or partner.
I was fortunate to be asked to teach a workshop at the festival, so I swapped porcelain for polymer clay so that we could finish our creations in one sitting. It was such fun giving guidance on making feathers (some of which were used in dreamcatchers) and creating pretty textures on small decorative items. It was also great to experiment with copper leaf and gold paints to highlight patterned relief and this has given me ideas on how to bling-up my Christmas range. I can't wait to play with this idea.
Two of my friends, Janice and Kate, wrote some super blogs about the event, which will give you a bit more flavour of the glamping experience complete with fire-side chats.
Whilst my own ceramic making was fairly non-existant over the summer, I'm celebrating all the good moments which happened in its place. I find as a mother I'm in a constant guilt trap of balancing the time spent with my family, with persuing my own goals, and I know many mothers don't have this liberty they just have to go to work. whether their children are off school or not.
Being on a holiday for two weeks has meant I haven't really had to address the issue of summer juggling, but for the last few days of the summer break, I'm making the conscious decision to fit in as many cuddles, walks, chats, games and baking/cooking opportunities as a I can with close friends and children.
Instagram as we know can be a bit of a fickle friend, and it can be hard to keep the momentum of a tag going, especially as any absence from posting seems to follow in an inevitable punishment from the algorithm, of not showing your posts to as many people.
That's why I'm really heartened that so many people still join in and find #wipsandblooms an inspiring tag to join in with. Just today someone messaged me to say that being a winner of the tag, along with my encouragement had given them the confidence to open their own shop. That gave me such a #feelgoodFridayfeeling!
I know I value small moments of glory and recognition, so I hope you will share my admiration of these four images from:
And my favourite from #wipsandblooms_summer is from the lovely Samantha @prettylittleknots, who coincidentally also led an amazing workshop at the Hill View Farm retreat too. I do love a pretty pink and these fuscias along with gladioli really make me think of the joys of summer.
Whilst I haven't really been making, I have been sending out orders and getting some vessels ready for a joint exhibition at Emporium Gallery in Lichfield, which runs throughout September, starting on the 5th.
With the start of September my thoughts turn to the new 'term' ahead, and how I might better manage future juggling. Working for myself I find that I hardly ever switch off anymore, and having a 24 hour shop, people and friends message you at all times of day, so I've decided to try and self-impose more regular 9-5 hours; and schedule in the occasional morning yoga to replace Instagram posting curled up with tea on the sofa. Let's see if it works! Ha!
Also, this month, I have a fabulous treat for you! You may have noticed a few weeks ago I won a lovely tactile weaving from Suzanne @nestandburrow. I'm really happy that she's going to be our guest judge next month as she is such a supportive maker and I know you'll love the prize she's offering.
Following my series of getting to know our guest judges a bit better Suzanne is sharing a bit of background here today.
How did you get into weaving?
How does nature influence your work?
Do you want to tell us about your hashtag?
Given Suzanne's passion for nature we have decided to theme the #wipsandblooms challenge this month, and are asking you to style your making shots with seasonal or foraged greenery. Don't forget to tag @nestandburrow and @ceramicmagpie so we can find your shots easily and you can help us spread the word about the tag too.
To give you some inspiration, Suzanne has taken these beautifully styled progress shots....
I hope you'll have fun joining in with this month's challenge!
So I hope you are all feeling refreshed from the summer holidays and ready to get creative as the season starts to shift into autumn, I know I am! I'd also be interested to hear about any smarter working practices you have for juggling family and work life.
Speak to you soon!
Hi! I'm a ceramicist, based in Kings Heath, Birmingham. Combining beauty and function my porcelain vessels are everyday objects you'll want to treasure. My work is slip-cast and wheel-thrown.