The Grip is thrilled to welcome this week's guest Bronwyn Green!
Thinking With My Hands
I wish I was the kind of writer who could finish one project and skip blithely on to the next. I know people like that. Many of them are my dear, dear friends. Sometimes I hate them a little bit because they have this awesome talent that I clearly don’t possess.
Unfortunately, I’ve come to realize that I need some downtime between writing projects. I need to recharge my creative batteries before I can plunge headlong into another story. My best method of recharging is pretty simple — create something else—something non-writing related. Something that doesn’t require the use of a computer. Something handmade.
There’s satisfaction in knowing you’re about to create something from nothing. Seeing a pile of fabric, or a heap of clay is a lot like seeing that first blank page of a new manuscript where the blinking cursor invites you to fashion a whole new world. Only, at this point, I’m tired of creating new worlds—I want to make something more tangible—something I can wear, or drink from or give as a gift.
My favourite recharging medium is clay. The wedging/kneading process is great for taking out aggression and by the end of a story, I usually have a fair amount of tension built up. Whether I’m throwing on the wheel or handbuilding, I find the sensation of clay squishing through my fingers soothing. But that’s nothing compared to watching a bowl form before my eyes as the wheel spins round or watching a sculpture slowly take shape as I pinch and mould. What started out as shapeless lumps of clay are now candle holders, faery figurines, bowls, wall sculptures and my favourite tea mug.
I think the reason this form of recharging works so well for me is that it involves a completely different set of mental processes than writing does. It’s almost like thinking with my hands. In addition to pottery I also like to think with my hands while sewing, knitting, cross stitching, drawing, stamping and jewellery making, but working with clay will always be my favourite method of recharging.
The Grip bloggers have had some wonderful suggestions for the care and recharging of the creative process, and I appreciate the opportunity to share mine. Thanks guys!