A new reflection
Sometimes when I can't see my own path clearly, I have been fortunate enough to cross paths with people who help me with that.
I was recently invited to submit a few pieces of work to the Quidi Vidi Village Artisan Studios for an upcoming exhibit there. It was a welcomed boost to my morale during what has been a dark period for me.
My partner and I drove over there on Monday to drop off the items and I had an opportunity to meet an artisan I'd only interacted with online. I also had the chance to reconnect with someone who was there when I still had a studio there.
It was an emotional experience as I hadn't been back since my SCADs, but positive. And there was a pearl for me in my conversation with Beth, a spinner and fiber artist currently at QVVAS.
As I was lamenting my recent confusion around my creative identity, she suggested that perhaps I was no longer a production craftsperson, but perhaps I was still an artist who would create as the spirit and spoon drawer allowed.
"Artist" is a label I've never been able to comfortably wear. I'm not formally trained and am largely self-taught. Wire is my passion, but I also dabble in fiber knitting and other media from time to time.
After returning home, my partner commented that she enjoyed listening to me as I chatted with the artisans. She told me that I was animated in a manner she'd not seen in a long time. She also observed a shift in me and recognized that there is a part of me still struggling to regain expression.
I pondered on all of this. I really have no tolerance for stress anymore. And my body reminds me regularly that I have to pick and choose what I do more carefully than ever.
I also was invited to do a wire knitting demonstration at QVVAS in mid July. I have tentatively accepted it recognizing that this is a big step for me on a number of fronts. I will be wearing a mask and will be keeping a table between me and any visitors, as I really don't want my first foray back out in the world to result in a COVID19 diagnosis.
As nervous as I am, I want to do it. Being back there helped me reconnect with myself in a way I'd not felt in a long time. And I want to feel that again, even if only for a few hours.
I reopened a much smaller and focused version of my online shop, so I have a place to show what I do make during the year, but there will be no deadlines for me anymore. Any knitting patterns I make will be offered up for free on my blog and jewelry tutorials will be available on my YouTube channel as I have them to share.
I seem to have finally turned a corner. The darkness is receding and I can see the light again.
(The picture is from a demonstration I did in 2017.)