I think I'm not alone in saying that it was pretty easy to say goodbye to January. And whilst February doesn't exactly equal Spring, as I sit listening to the rain drum heavily against the windows, there are moments of sunshine with a hint of a promise of kinder months to come.
Like the arrival of the first snowdrops last month. They feel very symbolic, along with the hellebores, to be the first blooms to appear. When the clouds lift we are greeted by crisp blue skies and the sun feels so welcome on our faces. The first sightings of catkins and other buds on the trees have filled me with a childish excitement about our days getting longer and in turn more fruitful and creative.
Which leads to me announce that I'm retiring #wipsandblooms and replacing it with a year-long project, with a quarterly focus - starting with spring of course! I'm hoping that this new hashtag #createinspring, will encourage us all to use our creativity, and share how the season is influencing our making.
Spring influences the palette that I want to use and develop, such as the thought of cherry blossom against a blue sky, as well as livid moss against a grey bark. It also effects the kind of shapes that I want to make in the coming months. As well as continuing my beaker and mini-bowl ranges I'll be making more vases and vessels to display our garden blooms. I'm investing in myself this year, and I've identified a couple of courses that will hopefully help me continue to improve my skills in the right direction.
It takes a lot of effort to develop new glazes, and this is something that I'll continue to develop this year; the search is on for inky blues, and some softer greys.
I found January a particularly difficult month on a personal level, as I was recovering from an infection, and the antibiotics left me with a big case of the blues. But I do find a lot of comfort in producing a piece of creative work, and I know I'm not alone in seeking solace in craft. So I hope that within the new #createinspring gallery and community, you might find new friends, and like-minded souls with whom you can connect.
So far, I've only really mentioned the tag to a few friends, and there are already over 75 posts in the gallery, which is so nice to see. Thank-you so much for your support. Here is just an edited selection, and I'll be sharing my favourites regularly on Stories. You'll see all kinds of creativity in the gallery; its as much about producing a beautiful spring image, as well as making a physical piece of beauty.
This year for me is also about trying to experiment more... I had a new camera for Christmas, and I had a little go at producing a self-portrait; and whilst the image wasn't that popular on Instagram I am still happy that I gave it a go, as I always think its nice to know the person behind the squares.
So from a fairly slow start to the year, I'm now feeling much more optimistic. I'm really happy that the spring inspired beakers that you see above will be available from a brilliant local florist and plant store: Isherwood. I've been talking to quite a few new stockists which is going to keep me busy, but hopefully there'll still be time for my year of play too. To be the first to hear about these make sure you are signed up my newsletter.
What are you most excited about this spring? Leave me a comment or join in #createinspring on Instagram.