I did a ceramic beadmaking demo yesterday at The Bead Cage a local beadshop that I've been working with since they opened 2 years ago. It was the first time that I'd gotten my hands dirty since the opening of Helena's studio last month. I realized then how absent I've been in the last few months. I also realized that I wanted things to change. Which probably explains the new and improbable shade of red you see in this picture of my hair.
For those who've noticed that I haven't been around much lately. I haven't had much to say. I'm sure that no one really wants to hear that my creative life has been on hold while I've suffered through depression and self-doubt inspired (largely) by the complete breakdown of what may have been the most significant friendship of my adult life. For most of the last 10 years, every idea and technique that I've explored in clay has been (in some way) a byproduct of that friendship.
When artists work closely together for extended periods of time, their work naturally begins to become an extension of their creative dialogue. This was the case in this friendship. One of us would try an experiment and the other would run with it, developing extensions and inspiring further exploration. Forms that I developed that never quite worked for me were perfected in her hands and vice versa.
I could spend months pointing fingers and trying to cast blame. If I were being completely honest, I would have to admit that I've spent some part of the last 3 months doing just that, although never really aloud. I have to say, it hasn't been constructive and I don't feel any better. I'm sure that there are those who know us both who crave understanding almost as much as I do. In the interest of fairness, to both her and myself, I have tried to simply answer questions with vague (yet truthful) comments about different directions in life and drifting apart.
That said, I still can't shake the feeling that somehow everything that I do in the studio owes a debt to someone to whom I can no longer accept being indebted. And, so, my ongoing crisis of self-worth continues and takes on yet more baggage.
It feels as though my fountain of creativity has been poisoned. I'm sure that others have been here, and will explore this landscape in the future. Unfortunately, none of the previous visitors have seen fit to leave a map showing how to find the antidote. If you know where to find the cure to what ails me and would like to try your hand at cartography, drop me a note. I'd love to hear from you.