Down the rabbit hole

Over the past few months I have been drawn to the story of Alice in Wonderland and in particular the ever “in a hurry White Rabbit.”  He keeps popping into my  mind and calling me. I think its to do with time!   Perhaps I feel I am running out of time. Perhaps my chronological age bears no resemblance to my inner spiritual age ( ah that’s true – I may never grown up!) though I have slowed down.

I’ve been creating ceramic pieces around the theme of time —  small fantasy clock pieces, a rabbit with a tea pot and a clock! I’m having great fun. Found a box of old watch parts and am using them in my work. That was serendipity!  Is that what it’s teaching me?  To let go and have fun!? Whenever I have fun with my creative work – others enjoy it more too.I know that.

A group of local artists have a light- hearted  day coming up – with some  creative play for kids, followed by a mad hatters tea party and an exhibition. I’m making  clay biscuit with the words EAT ME  on them  – for kids to paint   —  and some wacky clock circles  too. Also  creating some framed time themed art for the exhibition. The theme is the ‘Lost hour project’ to coincide with the clock change.

Ceramic Alice in Wonderland biscuit.

Ceramic Alice in Wonderland biscuit.

 

Ceramic and old clock pieces  ART

Ceramic and old clock pieces ART

 

Alice in Wonderland squares.

Alice in Wonderland squares.

ceramic clock circle 014 (2)

Ceramic time themed fantasy clock pendant .

rabbit where's alice 025 (2)

  The White rabbit ready for tea!  

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INNER SMILE and HAPPINESS

About a week ago I decided to write a little each day on my face book page about my inner smile and happiness –  commenting on how I was feeling  – hoping that I could actually write something light and positive each and every day. Days 1 – 6 were easy. My smile was naturally there. Life was good. I was busily preparing art for a  forthcoming mad hatters tea party and a TIME themed exhibition. I was mega busy!  – hence having lapsed in my writing here.( Photos will follow in another post.)

Since starting the  ISH journal I had  woken each day with joy. However today, as Day 7 dawned, I was feeling a little under the weather. No, I was healthy, nothing wrong with me, yet that smile and inner happiness was merely lurking in the background.  Maybe I had been too busy. Maybe it was because the sun wasn’t bright – and I NEED sunshine. Being a colourist I don’t do well with grey. It was colder than recently and the wind was buffeting. I don’t like that either.  So I was ready and up for the challenge to find ways to bring back my natural inner glow. I am believer in following my heart – so I did just that. I knew that something that when something  “called me”  —  what I call following the pull of my heart,  it would bring me back to my normal bubbly self. So I  decided to watch some morning TV. Fiona Bruce was hosting a programme about art – and  was in the process of discovering whether a wonderful art piece possibly by Vuillard was a forgery or REAL. I was fascinated by the long winded and painstaking process  they had to go through to get the piece authenticated.I was so happy to sit feet up watching breakfast time TV! I was elated when the owner was finally given a REAL verdict. His joy was palpable.  I started to lighten up, though in all honesty SELF was still a little subdued. I knew I needed to do more of following my heart. Next I went B & Q to buy a new light fitting for the kitchen. They had exactly what I wanted and then I got side tracked into buying a few other household items including tile paint for the kitchen. I reckoned it might be cheaper and quicker than re-tiling, though not sure when I will get to start it!   By this time I was feeling a little brighter.

I next planned to go to our local community garden to do some yarn-bombing.  I am making over the  bicycle which stands by the gates to attract passers by.  I sat in the weak sunlight for an hour or so happily stitching knitted pieces to cover the bike. I was getting cold and hungry BUT still loving what I was doing. The colourful knitted pieces were piled high in a large bag. All I had to do was choose the colours, sit, sew and enjoy.

AND I DID!

Freya Perry Yarn-bombing a bicycle

 

My spirits lifted.

The Southsea Greenhouse garden is such a beautiful place to go and visit. I thoroughly recommend it.  (www.southseagreenhouse.co.uk)    All the other volunteers there are a great bunch. The area is so full of life.  A dad and small child walked by and the little girl’s eyes lit up when she saw the bike. That made my day. The simple things in life – and free in this case  – had just brought joy to others  – and suddenly I was back to being a happy bunny.

I have also found another way to bring back my sense of happiness – ie a way to balance my mood. I LOVE colour  – as you can see from the bike photo –  but sometimes I just  need the balance of black and white to regain equilibrium  —  and so I create zentangle  patterns. This particular one was of a bird. I create the designs from my heart.

Freya Perry  - a black and white zentangle bird creation

Freya Perry – a black and white zentangle bird creation

It ‘s nice to know that we can choose to create our inner happiness and bring back our inner smile.  

Transformation

When I start with a lump of clay in my hands- I very rarely have any preconceived idea of  what will evolve  = what shape will find its way into reality. It’s an organic process – a melding of head and heart and soul.   These photos show the transition of some recent pieces.  The first is a clay heart with a pattern imprinted.( Greenware – unglazed.) After the first  bisque firing  I then decide on my colours.  The second shows  the heart ( and other pieces)  having been decorated  or  ‘glazed’ using oxides and underglazes.  I prefer to use underglazes – as  I am not a lover of a shiny finish. I prefer to add the final  sheen details by hand   It’s a magical experience , as  I am never quite sure how they will turn out. When they come out of the kiln after the second firing it’s a delight to see what appears.   I will put up a photo of the final piece when it comes out the kiln.  So it looks like you and me both have a waiting period.  Can’t wait to see the transformation.

The final photo is some recent artwork – ceramic hearts – ready for new homes

Clay heart before firing

Clay heart before firing.

heart - with underglaze and oxide decoration
heart – with underglaze and oxide decoration

ceramic hearts by Freya Perry

ceramic hearts by Freya Perry

 

Vibration!

I have just been away on a weekend of ‘clay play.’   This time I wanted to explore  creating with porcelain paper clay. It’s so fine and different to others I have recently been experimenting with such as Crank, St Thomas and even flax paper clay. Me thinks my love affair with flax paper clay is about to come to an end  – well just for a while,  as now I  love the feel of the new found porcelain paper clay in my hands.  I can work in such fine detail.  Bliss.

I chose to stay at a lovely hotel close to the centre where my course was being held  … and on the first evening chatted for about 5 minutes to a lovely lady in the lounge while waiting for friends. She said she was a potter and ceramicist. We barely had  time to chat and  I had so many questions to ask her  —  being a ‘baby beginner’ so to speak. I so hoped that I would see her the next morning at breakfast. She was there, alone and happy to chat to me.  I found out that she was a very  well known ceramicist.  How lucky was I?  What amazing  good fortune! I felt as though my guardian angel had placed me in that hotel at the right time. I am a firm believer that when our energy field  vibration is clean and clear – that  our desires can be met – and so it feels that Dorothy  Feibleman and me were destined to meet. Dorothy has actually made her own very fine translucent parian clay and designed some amazing extruders to create millefiore designs.  I had so many questions  to ask her and she she answered them patiently.  I could have stayed forever gleaning knowledge but my course was calling me and I had to leave. She was checking out of the hotel that morning, and  I have her details to keep in touch. How lucky am I?  

At the course later that day –  we were creating spoons and  brooches using porcelain clay – and we were all chatting  – as you do! I mentioned having had breakfast with Dorothy and a couple of the women on the course asked if she was Dorothy Feibleman?  One of them knew her and had studied with her years ago. They were  all so envious of my breakfast time chat.

I had been playing with polymer clay recently – and although I had a small hand held extruder to create piped shapes and learned slab mixes to attain millefiore and more  –  I had been wondering how I could create those intricate designs using earth clay. That’s exactly what Dorothy had designed – large extruders with a variety of shapes for use with (earth)clay. Naturally I have now spent time on the internet checking out Dorothy’s work. Her translucent porcelain art work is stunningly  beautiful.

I have to thank my guardian angel   –  and myself too for listening to that small inner voice to let go of financial worries and choose that particular hotel. It was expensive.  I could have chosen a cheaper one miles away but I decided that I would have a lovely weekend and pamper myself.   A treat for me.  So glad I did.

And so today – my first day back –  I am  beginning to assimilate all that I learned over the weekend – not only on my course with the delightful Emma Wilson,  but also of course with Dorothy. I feel blessed. 

Here’s a photo of the porcelain clay spoon I created with Emma  – and the photo below shows the bowl of the spoon in detail. I decorated it with oxides.That was the hardest bit – as you cannot see the final colours.  In fact its hard to see where you have added the oxides in some places at all as they are so feint until fired. Now I have to be patient until all my art work is fired and the colours show.  I also created some brooches. Ooh – the excitement to come.

Freya creating a porcelain clay spoon

Freya creating a porcelain clay spoon

Head of  porcelain clay spoon

Head of porcelain clay spoon with accented colour detail using oxides.

You can find more info on Dorothy Feibleman and her extruders  if you google  her name and  ‘magic tool system.’

As for the talented Emma Wilson, her website is http://www.emmalouisewilson.co.uk   and she has a facebook page too. The delightful Emma is running more workshops soon at Barlaston Village Hall ( Nearest train station is Stoke), which I can thoroughly recommend.  Have fun if you decide to go!