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Reflections: some weird, others wacky, but mostly inspirational

As another year draws to a close, I think the title of my post speaks for itself. So here goes ...

To my joy, my journey with clay continues although the start of the year was unfortunately marked by a little weirdness owing to a medical issue. Thanks to a swift response by the NHS professionals, my surgery and treatment are now done and dusted. I remain grateful for the compassion and care from those around me during a challenging time.

Following an open call by Basildon Creative People and Places, I was honoured to be selected to hold a dreamcatcher clay-building workshop as part of the ShineON community arts programme.

Over and above stimulating creativity, making art can provide valuable relief from stress, and - in the case of pottery - is great for developing motor skills.

The feedback from from my lovely participants was extremely positive, and I am encouraged by the interest expressed by other organisations in possibly rolling out this workshop to other community groups in Essex and London.

The main event of my year was the second successful CLAYART quintessentially exhibition at the Maeldune Heritage Centre in Maldon in collaboration with Sandra Hall, Ann Hebden, Jacqui Cade-Bowyer and Lucy Fowler.

This year each ceramicist created pieces under the theme of Homage to the Essex Winged Serpent, which saw diverse and at times wacky clay interpretations of this centuries old mythical creature.

It felt wonderful to do some handbuilding for this show after such a long while, although fashioning serpents in porcelain did manage to test my resolve on occasion.

A trip with my yummy hubby to Nepal in October provided a much-needed break and inspiration filled with abundant culture, contemplative spirituality, breath-taking scenery, and warm-hearted people. Check out my holiday highlights posted on my Instagram page (#nepaldiaries).

I cannot help but smile every time I think or speak about our Nepal adventures, especially the one experience involving me and a traditional wheel in Bhaktapur.

Since setting up JAE Ceramics, I think I have finally found my routine of producing, marketing and selling my own ceramics ranges and balancing those activities with my part-time tutoring commitments at Peacock Pottery Barn. With that in mind, as well as developing my collections further, I am now pleased to offer one-hour, one-to-one pottery lessons in my home studio which will open for bookings in the new year.

My final words go to the wonderful people that I encounter on my clay journey. Your passion, moral and financial support, kind words, and valued friendship motivate me to develop and improve creatively. Thank you!

Fingers are crossed for a happy, healthy and peaceful 2024.

Chat again soon.


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