I have eventually realised that what I am doing is settling in. It's not rocket science or even brain surgery but it took me a while to work it out. I expected to need a couple of weeks to get a few things done but then imagined I would be back in the pottery after that. It's obviously not working out like that and for a while I was rather worried about it. I just didn't have any desire to go back in the pottery and the more I acknowledged this the more I didn't want to do it and the more it bothered me.
As is my way, I began to analyse what was going on. Did this herald a sea-change away from pottery? (Alarming idea.) Was it that I just needed to continue with the textiles work I had to leave off when we packed up in France? (Possible, but I can usually accommodate such things.) Was it because I have to start with the unpleasant job of doing a thorough clean-up of the pottery prior to changing from brown to white clay? (True, but hardly major in the grand scheme of things.) Was it part of the picture of getting a life that I had too many other things I wanted to do? (Well yes, perhaps ...) But none of these really seemed to reflect what I was feeling.
What I've actually been doing this week is making several hundred cards that are needed for two new outlets and starting to organise the pots that will be delivered to those same places. And today I've begun to feel differently and suddenly I realise that I just needed to settle in. The process of collecting stock together, making up orders, preparing new artist statements and publicity literature ready for a new outlet is an important part of planning the direction in which my work is going. As I've labelled pots and decided how many of each will make a good display, my interest in making them has started to return. I've also been noting my feelings towards different designs and my reaction to whether I need to make more of them or not. Sometimes I catch myself thinking "oh, no" and then I know that's a design I'm not enjoying producing as much as I used to.
I'm not going to do anything too drastic, but I do want to inject a bit more life and passion into the actual pots. Latterly the passion had been focussed on meeting my targets rather than the pots themselves. I get a huge buzz out of meeting targets. The targets I set myself are always achievable ones, but sometimes only just and the feeling of elation on meeting the goal is immense. I started to write "if meeting the goal" but the truth is that I always do. I guess this makes me goal oriented and perhaps that's been part of the disquiet at this settling in process - no identifiable check-list type goals.
So I'm settling in. Finding my feet. Finding all sorts of things in still-to-be-unpacked boxes! And there's nothing like writing publicity material, even events handouts for the market tomorrow, for generating new ideas.