I’m a messy maker. When I’m in the midst of creativity in my studio, I’m typically surrounded by a variety of tools, bit of clay, drops of glaze and pots in process. Clay is a dirty business. And that is one of the reasons I love it. The freedom to produce something beautiful from the creative chaos keeps me coming back for more.
I like to clean up too. This may sound funny after describing how much I enjoy the disarray of creating, but for me it completes the process cycle and helps me delve into the next round. I realize I apply this sequence in other creative areas of my life. Cooking for instance. My kitchen gets messy when I cook; but I don’t feel complete until I’ve cleaned up the dishes and tools I’ve used.
My nightly knitting corner looks messy with pattern pages, snack bowl, knitting tools and balls of yarn strewn about. In my fiber projects, I purposely sew seams, weave in loose yarn threads, add necessary buttons and block my stitched project to completion before I begin the next. The addictive thrill of starting a new project is hard to resist, but I know I’d never finish anything without those self-imposed rules.
Perhaps I’m channeling the mantra my mother drummed into me, “every job has a beginning, middle and end.” It could also be the early training I had from my clay instructor Winney Owens Hart that clean-up was part of the pottery process. For me, ‘doing dishes’ in all my creative endeavors is a necessary completion of the creative process.