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.
After 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.
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.