Saturday, January 30, 2010

Creative Time with a Toddler

It is a nasty, nasty morning outside. Right now it is about 50 degrees and raining cats and dogs. Its a perfect morning to just chill out, drink coffee and sit by the fireplace with your newspaper or laptop. The kiddo is even sleeping in this morning (Is she sick??), and so it's the perfect time to have a quiet, relaxing morning. But I didn't do that. No. I was out in the studio, cranking up the kiln, rolling out some slabs, and picking up around the studio, because I have learned that a mother must work whenever she can. And sometimes that means working when you'd rather sit on the couch and drink coffee. As much as I love my clay, I also love relaxing and having quiet time. It is necessary to my well-being, and therefore, necessary to the well-being of my child! My quiet time resets me, and gives me time to let go of the stresses that have built up inside. So it is always a struggle to find time to work and time for peaceful relaxation. Having a 1 1/2 year old is awesome - she's learning new stuff daily - but I have to keep a close eye on her. She knows how to open bottles, so if she is in the studio, I have to make sure she isn't into all the underglazes, glues, and who knows what else is lurking out there, just waiting for her little hands to find it. She also is very helpful - she loves to help Mommy with her work. I had her in my lap one day, trying to get a coat of underglaze on a sculpture, and she found a pencil and started drawing all over the sculpture! Now it doesn't really matter, as pencil will burn out in the kiln, but it was still a bit stressful for me to have her drawing all over the piece. It makes it a little hard to concentrate! I had to laugh, though, because it was so ridiculous, trying to get any real work done while she was in my lap. Most artist moms get work done either during naptime or after the kiddo has gone to bed. I find it difficult to work at night - I always have - as I am more energetic in the mornings. I can so some mindless stuff, like cleaning, but who wants to do that?? I'd much rather hang out with hubby and have a glass of wine. It's important to me to spend time with the hubby. It's good to have quality time with your significant other! I'm always interested in how other moms (or dads) work their daily schedules so that they can be creative. Please feel free to share if you have any tips! I just read about Erin Furimsky, another clay artist in this month's issue of Ceramics Monthly, and she somehow manages to get 20-25 hours in the clay studio each week. You go girl! It sounds like a lot of her studio time comes at night, after the kids are in bed. Maybe I need to start pushing more at night. But I'm already having trouble with insomnia - my clay projects keep me awake enough as it is! :)

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