Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Annual Purge

The remaining unfinished Melly Tiles, reject Joy ornaments and the Joy press molds in a smashed splatter on the ceramic studio floor.

For the last three days, I've labored to shovel 2010 out of my studios. My creative impulses are so strong that they often override the smarter strategy of cleaning up as I go along, and so disorder gradually expands over the course of the year. The Holiday Season then adds the topping glory to create a house crammed with utter devastation, so by the time the New Year rolls around, my studio spaces resemble a festering, jumbled riot of inanimate object anarchy. You cannot see the floor and any flat surface has become encrusted with a dense artistic strata. My ever-patient husband attempts to ignore it all. "Attempts" being the operative word.

 The ceramic studio before The Great Expunging. The sculpting/painting studio and the office were just as bad, with debris creeping up the walls and piles teetering in Seussian curves.

So it's become a tradition here that the first two weeks of January become dedicated to wiping the slate clean. Dusting, washing, organizing and dispensing with worn out items also is part of the drill and, predictably, I find items I've been looking for and discover those I'd forgotten about! It's also helpful from a mental standpoint -- to walk into an orderly studio is (cough cough) so novel here, it helps me to rethink my art and my goals because I've taken a proverbial breath of fresh air. It's such a shock, that my sensibilities are shocked, too -- and that's good.

The freshly cleaned ceramic studio in the garage. I even washed all the items that had piled up in my utility sink all year.

So now I'm in the right frame of mind to dive back into studio work, with a fresh outlook and perhaps new expectations. A clean studio offers such beguiling promises! As such, I've started to retool those stamp designs in earnest and plan to get back to sculpting this week. I've pulled out some prepped pieces to get back to painting again, too! I'm eager to create a new mess to clean in 2012!

"Each one of us has a fire in our heart for something. It's our goal in life to find it and to keep it lit." ~ Mary Lou Retton

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