Creative people need to create.
I’ve unfortunately spent very little time in my clay studio over the past few months. Working with ceramics provides a creative outlet for me unlike any other activity, and I feel the need to get back to it SOON! I really miss working with clay.
We are building a vacation home in Texas Hill Country overlooking a lake, which is the primary reason I do not have time to play in my studio right now. This endeavor, as wonderful as it will be when complete, requires a great deal more time, effort and research than I anticipated. I have no experience building a house, yet somehow felt because I am “creative” I would simply figure it out. Ha! Designing a house from scratch requires a whole lot more than “a good eye”. We are working with a builder, but because I want the house to be unique and interesting in addition to beautiful and functional, I am quite involved in the process.
View from the screened in porch.
Our builder is very good at evaluating my less than conventional ideas and letting us know if he can realistically incorporate my thoughts into the house within our budget. My favorite detail so far is the addition of 2 five foot wide windows that replace most of what would otherwise be the backsplash located between the kitchen cabinets and countertops on either side of the stove. As a result, the entire kitchen is flooded with light for most of the day which makes me incredibly happy.
The house, when complete, will be handicapped accessible for the most part. We intend to rent it part of the time, and this population is one that sometimes struggles to find workable vacation destinations. It is not completely ADA compliant, however, the house is one level with no steps outside or in, doorways and hallways are wide to accommodate a wheelchair, the master bathroom contains a 7 foot roll-in shower, and the list goes on. This is not a vacation home a person with a disability would likely rent alone; our intent is to provide a comfortable vacation destination for a family that includes a child or parent needing accommodations. I am particularly sensitive to this issue as I have a parent who uses a wheelchair. Unfortunately, introducing accessibility into a home while maintaining its interesting, unique and beautiful appeal can be a challenge, but one I am diligently working to overcome. I will share pictures of the progress once we are further along.
Though I am looking forward to the completion of the house and having my life back, I am enjoying the process. Building a house allows me to be creative in a very different way than I am accustomed. Wet clay is a forgiving medium, much like icing on a cake. If I don’t like the way a piece is developing, I smooth out the clay and start again. With a new home build, changes are expensive and not always easy, which means I may have to live with a mistake for a long time. The process is therefore stress-inducing as opposed to completely enjoyable time. The good news is that in the end I will have still have created a “beautiful thing”.
In the words of Leo Burnett, the brilliant advertising executive who created campaigns like the Jolly Green Giant, the Pillsbury Doughboy and Morris the Cat, “Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people”. Life provides ample opportunity to exercise creativity.
What do you do when you don’t have time to be creative in your usual way?
Check out my Etsy store if you have a chance – approximately 60 pieces for sale!