The stressful times of year are when I get most creative. Spring—in the run-up to Fresh Fish and summer orders—and fall—getting ready for Christmas—are long, difficult seasons. They’re difficult because of weather (getting darker and colder, or stubbornly staying cold), they’re difficult because of orders (everyone wants their stuff at the same time), they’re difficult because I have signed up for events and need to get ready.

I’ve been working a full-time job in the days, and then going to the studio and potting for hours. Sometimes so many hours that my supper break consists of strolling down to George Street and buying a plate if nachos and questionable “cheese” sauce from a street vendor because that’s the only source of cheap food available by the time I come up for air. My husband and I communicate largely via notes, because we are no longer awake at the same times. I am no longer sure, at any moment, what day it is or what I had planned to do, other than making more pots.

Somewhere along the line, every year, at these two seasons, something snaps. My brain starts wailing, “Noooooooo, don’t wanna!” at every little task, but it is also too terrified to stop performing them. In a desperate attempt at compromise, it starts coming up with new things to make. New lines, new glazes to try. New colour combinations. New themes. New shapes.

There is a lot of black clay, because I asked for it and then came up with Robots and haven’t used half of what I ordered, so I will be coming up with something involving it over the winter. It started off as a happy and cheerful idea, full of cartoon birds and flowers, and is now veering towards cat paw prints and small dead animals. I don’t know. The seasonal pressure cooker, combined with Bebber’s death, has me feeling very fragile. But the ideas will just have to sit and stew until after the craft fair. Then… we’ll see.

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