Voices of Makers #2

Our Voices of Makers blog is a space to share experiences, information and ideas to support and inspire each other and is part of our Rethinking our Rhythms programme.

Please tell us your stories & tips – get in touch via instagram, twitter or online form.

Fiona Thompson, Ceramics/Cyan Clayworks/AAS Board Member

The studio has now been shut to the public for several weeks, with courses and membership postponed, and so we are readjusting our work patterns and day to day structure. Like for most other creative folks, it’s been a massive challenge to firstly have your income halted, and secondly to work out what can be done from home (somewhat tricky with ceramics..!) The ‘new normal’ is no longer working long hours running a busy studio, but instead slowing down and focusing on other things.

In my own practice I was at the start of a VACMA Edinburgh funded project. Although a lot of aspects to the project will be delayed, I’m using the time to continue working in my sketchbook, reading and researching, and hopefully creating a new website soon. As a substitute for the clay, I’ve been cooking a lot…yoga, Netflix, music and wine helps too. I’m also really thankful to live near the beach for our daily exercise!

Janet Hughes, Balgarvie Weaving/AAS Member

I need to focus my mind on a more professional /business like approach to my working so this selling/making down time is perfect for this. After working for so long in mental health I am now practicing what I preached – distraction with craft and turning negative thoughts around to make them positive.

Kathryn Williamson, Jeweller/AAS Board Member

March 2020

It’s a complete reset for us all, a chance to completely rethink your practice and how you approach it. Also a lot of makers will suddenly have kids home with them too! I am finding the reality of being home all day with my son is very time consuming as he has a ton of work to do for school on our shared computer.

I have written myself a massive list which includes making to build up stock for the hopefully busy period at the end of the year but am planning to do those things I usually avoid when I am busy such as more social media and my first ever email newsletter. But it is tough trying to stay motivated and on task!

My tip is listening to the radio, I am finding I am waking very early and feeling anxious so heading out to my workshop by about 7.30 and listening to BBC Radio 6 for a bit of Lauren Laverne who is always very supportive of makers. It also makes me feel a little bit more connected to the world. Final tip is buy gin!

April 2020

Three weeks on from writing this I am finding that everything has evolved – the massive list has been scrapped and I am taking every day as it comes which include perhaps at the most an hour of making/paperwork for my jewellery.

The absolute silver lining for me out of this very difficult situation is spending much more time with my son and husband. I am still listening to Radio 6 in the morning though, it sets up my day.

Read the experiences of other makers: Voices of Maker #1: Carol Sinclair

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 experiences 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: Detail of drawing, Fiona Thompson

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