Tuesday, January 28, 2020

the return

I've been back from a monthlong trip to South Africa for almost two weeks now, and I am reminded once again that travel is amazing, coming home always feels good, and getting back to work sucks. For me, I always come back from travel a slightly different person, subtly transformed by all the new things I was exposed to, so approaching my work in the exact same way I was before I left just feels wrong. Before I left I made a batch of ramen bowls that almost immediately sold out on my website, so the first thing on my list is... more ramen bowls. But I want NEW and DIFFERENT ramen bowls! To express my new and different self. But what is that exactly? I don't know yet. And that is the beauty of it all-- not knowing. The only way to figure it out is to start.

Starting is always hard. It's the hardest thing in the world, actually.  I texted a friend who also teaches pottery and asked him for an assignment just so there would be some level of accountability in getting going. Because once I start I can begin to forget the struggle, and just be immersed in the work. But dragging me to the starting line can be difficult with all of the kicking and screaming and thrashing around.

There are two things in a long list of things that I have been wanting to make for years, but for reasons that will take another post to explain, I haven't. I've been wanting to make lighting-- mostly hanging shades-- and wall art installations. After I was done completing my assignment (three small bowls) I just decided that putting off making the thing you really want to make is about as dumb as putting off the travel you really want to do. I've been wanting to go to Africa for over 20 years and I just now finally did it. I don't have forever to travel to the places I want to go, or to make the things I want to make. So I started making that stuff, accepting that it may suck a bit and I'll have to refine my approach and keep trying.

Here are a few images from my travels:
Giraffes in Kruger National Park

Who knew South Africa had PENGUINS???

Protea in Kirstenbosch Garden in Cape Town

Lonely stretch of beach near Stillbai on the Western Cape 
Camphor trees that look like a painting in the magical light.

A view of Camp's Bay and Table Mountain from the top of Lion's Head in Cape Town.