A Clumsy and Charming Circle Round






Each year I spend a bit of time acknowledging my creative space: my studio. I call it the Annual Studio Re-Dedication and it’s as impromptu of an affair as it is sincere. This year it was both clumsy and charming, just the way I like it.

By way of prep, I clean up a teensy bit, taking note of what has physically changed about the space in the past year, as well as how I have felt in it as the seasons circled round, and the making moved through my hands.

I buy a bouquet, dig up some candles, gather some good smells, choose a nibble and a sip, cue perfect music and arrange a few meaningful objets as icons and talismans.

I look forward to this moment as a culmination and a release. There are no rules, it’s about just making the transition, looking over my shoulder before I step through the portal to the next time.

This year I chose the first really stormy day of the season – figuring that even if the backyard flooded, the wind blew hard and the power went out, my candles and the quiet would get me though.




Beyond the simple functionality of the room, I noticed my Beauty Shelf.  On the wall behind my busiest work tables, it is a place I hardly have time to look. Here are figures, mostly my own clay sculptures, which silently witness. I appreciate this shelf as a place that holds essential wisdom. These are my guardians – mothers, warriors, muses – and their attributes. When I do have the time to gaze at this shelf, I am reminded of the deeper currents of my creative journey.



StudioSummationandPlanning2014After moving around and taking in the environmental mood of my space, I settled down and assessed this past year  –  a year in which I was intentionally away from selling and exhibiting, but somehow never not busy in this studio. I sat and wrote about what went well, what did not and what I wanted to attract, absorb and execute in 2015. I did not intend to spend much time with this, but it turns out I was full of ideas and it was fun.



bittersspilled At one point I reached towards my Beauty Shelf and knocked over my tiny bottle of ceremonial housemade juniper bitters. That smarted! The juniper berries were picked during our vacation at Mono Hot Springs in 2013 and had spent a year infusing into some special ingredients. Was I bitter about spilled bitters? Nah! No scarcity consciousness here. I’ve got lots more of it. That’s how the whole Re-Dedication felt: abundant, sufficient, enough – mistakes and all.










Another round of creating and noticing how it all played out comes to a close. I’ve caught my creative breath and am ready to enter into the stillness of the Winter Solstice time. Looking forward to ringing in the new year with clarity and intention.



—Liz Crain, who, as you can see from the images in this post, has been fooling around with Photoshop Effects, seeing just how it can add a tad more punch and meaning to her eye-witness shots.



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10 thoughts on “A Clumsy and Charming Circle Round

  1. Hi Lizz, thanks for sharing this! John

    1. Hi John, while I am not much for ceremony per se, it IS good to take this annual pause and see what comes up. It can be as simple as turning to the four corners and taking a long slow breath, but it makes a good acknowledgement before stepping through a portal. Here’s to all our thresholds in this coming year!

  2. What a great thing to do! As potter’s / artist’s we are very lucky to have the creative outlet. I too have a wonderful studio and feel very grateful
    to have to space to grow, create, and share my art! It is good to have a clean studio for our health and peace in our creative place!
    Keep creating & Happy Holidays!

    1. Hi Mary, thanks for stopping by! And especially thanks for your warm words of understanding. “Health and peace in our creative place” forever!

  3. And my poor studio is still in the shambles of doing a firing and opening the kiln for my last open studio day – one full week ago. Since then I have been busy putting back together the house that was in shambles from the 3 out of 4 week end show season and the need to do one more firing! It is a beautiful day here in AZ and several hours of bright sunny daylight left so I am inspired by your post to get the studio back in shape for work – but will pause when it is ready to appreciate that it is there!

    1. Hi Terry: It’s good to be uber busy and then it is good to clean up. The brief and heartfelt pause between them to acknowledge and notice somehow makes the cleaning up worth it and the beginning again easier. Today’s a really good day for all of that, being the Solstice AND the new moon. What a threshold to step through! Go, go go!

  4. I am so inspired by reading this post Liz! Thank you. I always THINK about doing this and then don’t give myself the time and space. Now, I’m resolved to get that creative journal book you gave me off the shelf and actually DOING the work/play. I’m excited about it as a special treat for ME!

    1. Well now, Patricia, there was your Christmas Goose…glad be a source of inspiration!

  5. Looking forward to the New Year and what you bring forth!

    1. And backatcha Linda!!!!

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