Saturday, April 30, 2011

What's happening in the studio?

Having days off from the studio has an aftershock that occurs about 6 weeks after the original event. Friends or colleauges or collectors"just dropping in" during the work day, is something that artists who work from home literally pay for later in the year.

When I first started my studio practice it was very difficult to get into the studio and start work everyday without fail. The establishment of this routine is absolutely essential to the growth of skills, creative processes and bank balance! I used my favourite radio show, starting at 9 o'clock in the morning to get me down there. But the creative routine is fragile and easily thrown off balance by the robust demands of domesticity and family life.

Creating uninterrupted space within the family week to make pots and toss over new ideas takes nerves of steel as you stare down the homemaker guilt, school mother guilt and the plain old wish to be around your fabulous children and make sure they have moral and intellectual grounding in life, fresh vegetables and do not develop tendencies which are linked to becoming dysfunctional adults in any way. (Like I'd know.......I thought being a professional artist was the only job I could possibly live with!)
Having children has enhanced my work as an artist. It has opened up new emotional territory and trained me to work faster and harder and concentrate in different ways. It is a stark contrast to the luxurious, long, loops of time I spent thinking and making things when I was younger and I'm still in the frantic early years of motherhood (my daughters are 4 and 6) but I am interested to see what kind of artist will emerge from this tempering. I feel that my basic material is being changed. When you fire clay at around 600 degrees it undergoes a process called 'quartz inversion" where the crystals in the clay body change their molecular structure. If a pot survives this metamorphosis twice, once during the firing and again during cooling a beautiful, hard fired vessel will result. I feel like motherhood is a similar process.

3 comments:

Noga said...

Hi Shannon! Greetings from Israel! You are so right... My boys are 6.5 and 8, I'm going to build my studio at home in 3 months from now. until then, I work at home making softies from fabrics for my etsy shop... So I understand and agree. I have only one thing to say: You have so much to contribute to our world except being a mother.Your works are wonderful.

FetishGhost said...

I was asked about how I maintain my balance between studio life and parenting, I had to answer that its simply a matter of working like mad and enjoy the kids. We do pay for every break that we take though, eh?

Objekte-aus-Ton said...

Oh, I like your work very much!