Voices of Makers #1

Carol Sinclair, AAS Chair and ceramicist, introduces our new ‘Voices of Makers’ blog, part of the Rethinking our Rhythms programme, and shares her feelings.

Rethinking your rhythms is something we are all doing right now and some days that’s easy and some days it feels impossible.

I am one of those eternally optimistic people who always sees my glass as half full. When lockdown started I thought of all the extra studio time I was going to have that I have been promising myself for years, as I am now lucky enough to have my studio at home. And that has been starting to happen with some new glaze and clay testing underway, and I do get such joy when I take a beautiful new colour out of the kiln. But some days the uncertainty of our collective futures hangs on me like an enormous weight and I really struggle to even do the things I love.

I worry about friends, family and colleagues who I know are having a really tough time. And I worry about makers, who do such an amazing job of juggling different types of income to make their living, but now find this nimble hybrid approach to sustaining a practice leaves them between definitions and sources of support. It’s all so overwhelming.

I have now realised I need to acknowledge the grief I am feeling for what we have lost. And strangely once I have allowed the grief to surface, the optimism also starts to sneak back in. There are so many opportunities for us all to reset our rhythms, challenge our assumptions and realign our behaviours. And the collective outpouring of creativity and invention is astounding.

I read that we can withstand one awful thing if we can counter it with four other positives. So I have been looking after myself by making sure I have enough of the good stuff planned in. I now have four different regular weekly digital catch ups in my diary with my friends, creative collaborators and valued colleagues. I have lots of other work meetings too, but now I make sure I have enough of the restorative contact in between to help me keep the balance. And I make sure I have at least two hours, four days out of five for my creative practice, in whatever form that takes. I also have time off, and that really helps with energy levels and maintaining positivity.

At AAS we have spending a lot of time thinking about what we can do to support one another, and how we can add something useful to the growing amount of resources and information already out there. And we decided we can most productively help to share makers’ stories and experiences. What are you doing, how are you coping and what tips can you share for feeling safe, well and creative? And importantly what do you need? At this time it is really important that no one is left behind.

I have really enjoyed taking time to write down these few thoughts to share. Reflecting on what I have been doing reminds me of what I have learned and makes me feel that I am taking as much control of my own situation as I can. So please share in words, images, song, dance or any other medium that feels appropriate. We are in this together.

We are inviting makers & Members to get in touch via instagram, twitter or email with tips on how they are rethinking their rhythms, whether working patterns, things people are doing, or info to share.

We have also created an online page where you can talk about your experience and share what matters to you.  We give you the option to be anonymous or to provide your name and you can also let us know if we can share it with other makers in our new ‘Voices of Makers’ blogs.  We can’t answer specific questions but if we can offer any suggestions about something we will try and do so.

Is there anything else you would like AAS to do to support you and your practice?


Image: Tipping Point, Carol Sinclair

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