The joy of being creative. Do you ever experience it? Do you even know what it is?
At the ceramics course the other day, one student was pondering how to decorate the clay Easter egg she made for her mum as an Easter present. That day the inspiration wasn’t forthcoming despite the fact that this student is very creative and in addition to ceramics has several hands-on hobbies.
The accent is on the word hands, as hands are the most important tool for any ceramicist. That’s the fact that students learn at the very 1st lesson of the very 1st ceramics class for the beginners.
They learn clay shaping techniques and learn how to put them into practise. They learn how to decorate their own original clay pieces and how to glaze their unique ceramics. It’ unimportant whether they have any previous experience or even whether they feel creative. The joy of being creative will inevitably follow.
Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the Big Magic book says that one creative channel will lead to opening another.
So, before I started writing this blog I took some clay in my hands with an intention of hand building a brand new Bird of Happiness. I was occasionally looking out of the window at the birds on the neighbours tree. I was fully present with my clay. No moulds, no wheels, no tools. Just my hands and a lump of clay swiftly produced an inspiration for this blog. A new creative channel opened. Hooray!
Quickly I took a piece of paper and a pen and started writing.
I remembered my lovely students from the pottery course. I remembered that student wanting to decorate a perfect original present for her mum. The student has already completed the first three months of the course for the total beginners. She has learned how to shape clay. She is familiar with the entire process of creating an original ceramic piece. She had already painted and decorated plates and bowls, cups and various other ceramic objects. She experienced the joy of being creative many, many times. However at that moment, she didn’t have a sufficient original inspiration and she needed an outside encouragement.
That came from other students at the course. The positive friendly atmosphere and mutual support is encouraged and expected from grownups attending the ceramics courses and workshops at Art Studio Laura Rainbow.
There is no competition and no comparisons. The ceramics course is aimed at adults. Everyone is learning at their own pace and fulfilling their own creative journey. It’s most important that everyone find their own version of creative happiness.
My creative happiness at the moment is aimed at hand building new abstract stylized clay bird as soon as I finish writing this blog. I will hand paint it latter in the week. I will look after it during the drying process and handle it with utmost care as dry clay is very brittle. Once it’s ready, it will be fired in a ceramic kiln for the 1st time. This is where magic happens and clay turns into ceramics.
A hand built clay bird becomes ceramic Bird of Happiness. I shall glaze it and decorate it next. One more firing is needed for the apstract stylized ceramic Bird of Happiness to become an original unique gift.
I love alternative techniques of finishing ceramics. Exciting ancient Japanese raku technique is one of my favourites. I also love traditional finishing techniques. It all connects me with Earth and is very grounding. Students are always finishing their creations in traditional way. They experience the joy of being creative without smoke and fire.
My Birds of Happiness are photographed next and can be added to the webshop. Though not all of them get as far as the web shop pages. My ceramic apstract stylized Birds of Happiness are often snapped by the students of my ceramic courses and clay hand building workshops. The students have the privilege to witness many of the steps in the exciting journey of creating Birds of Happiness. During the courses and workshops students can see what is happening. The student’s don’t participate, but they bear witness to many metamorphosis the clay goes through before it becomes and original ceramic gift.
Students at the ceramic courses and workshop learn hand modelling, decorating and glazing for beginners. They also take advantage of being the 1st to see freshly finished Birds of Happiness. Many students buy Birds of Happiness before I have a chance to put them in the web shop. Students buy Birds of Happiness for themselves, to mark a special occasion or to simply remember lovely relaxing, creative times they had at the ceramics course. They buy Birds of Happiness as gifts for others too. Birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, Christmas presents, or simply as tokens of appreciation for friends, family and loved ones.
I gift wrap their chosen Birds of Happiness and students take them home after their ceramics class. During the ceramics courses and individual workshops students are immersed in their own original clay and ceramic creations. They take home their own unique ceramic pieces at regular intervals too
A new group of beginners is accepted only three or four times a year and the joy of creativity becomes palpable in the air.
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Until the next blog may we all delight in the joy of being creative.