It's been 2 1/2 weeks since the 2016 NZ Creative Fibre Festival closed and it has been a super busy time. The week after there was the flurry of media attention - being a first time entrant, a local and a multiple award winner created the perfect storm for a brief minute. I know, I may have mentioned it once or twice. I was so blown-away blessed, though - I'm still excited about it!
Then there was Mr BurtoNZ' birthday. He deserved to be especially spoiled after flying solo with the kids for the weekend while I was having all my fibre fun. To be honest, he's going to be a tough act to follow in the school holiday entertainment stakes. He pulled out all the stops - trips out every day, fast food - basically all the things that kids think the holidays are supposed to be completely jam-pack-filled with. I don't even want to think about all the complaints I'm going to get next holidays when it's back to "it is not my job to entertain you 24/7" and "you can have some time on your device after you tidy your room...", not to mention "it's outside time or room time" (see, they do get choices!). I'm glad that they had a great few days hanging out together, though.
I also received confirmation from ArtsPost gallery that my proposal for an exhibition (my second solo show!) had been accepted. I confess that sent me in to a bit of a spin. It's one thing to talk about your amazing ideas for a body of work, but when it actually comes to making it happen, I tend to get a slightly frozen-in-the-headlights panic. I know that, once I can actually shake myself into action - then it will flow. And Mr BurtoNZ will have to literally drag me from my studio to spend time with me. Did I just blow my super-confident artist persona with one paragraph? I have to believe that all artists become riddled with self doubt at some time or another, if only for a moment.
In the mean time, while I chew over where to attack the exhibition work next, I have been joyfully churning out beautiful bowls! They really are a most pleasant distraction and I am loving the way they look all massed on my encyclopaedia cabinet. Yes - we actually have a set of encyclopaedias. From the 1950s! Every now and again, just for the fun of it, I suggest that one of the kids look up the info they need for a school assignment - "old school".
I've had a few people ask me what a felt bowl can be used for....my response? Can't it just be a thing that is beautiful to look at and intriguing to touch? If it must have a use, the ones with a wider opening make a great yarn bowl to stop your ball of yarn rolling all over as you pull the yarn away. Or a cosy place to store small things. Or a decorative bowl to stand a small plant in. Comment below with your ideas! I will keep posting them on Instagram as we come up with them :-)
Hot tip: I love an opportunity to recycle, reuse or repurpose and I have finally found a great use for the myriad plastic carrier bags that I inherited with one of the cupboards in my kitchen. Firmly stuffing them into the finished bowl helps to shape and stretch the felt out so that it dries to a pleasingly hard (yet pliable!) form. And it's much quicker than working away at it with my hands!
I suppose that, in answer to my initial question, life is a journey - creativity is part of the landscape along the way, as are our relationships, jobs, etc. So no, I hope that I never consider that I have arrived. I will just keep looking toward the next challenge with eager anticipation because I am created creative by the Greatest Creator!