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Coming back ... and going back

After being away on a five-week trip, coming back into the studio feels strange. Even though I tidied up before leaving, it looks small and messy and I want new shelves and a clear table and new ideas...

The routine has been interrupted, and it takes a while to get my head back into the space.

Luckily, some routines are quickly restored: the regular Friday morning at Bookham Country Market is a familiar event and it is easy to grab a couple of bags of pots and

set up my stall. In between customers, I start thinking

about my next steps...

Children's workshops occupy the following week: two afternoons with Y1 and Y2 at the primary school, and a new evening venture with a pack of Brownies. Although the projects were all carefully planned before I went away, it seems to take a long time to assemble notes and tools and think them through again and today I spent more hours than usual unpacking and checking all the work and arranging it to dry. Watch this space for some great tiles and terracotta warriors and puppets!

Six Christmas fairs are lined up for the next few weeks, so I spend another afternoon rearranging my stock of pots in order to feel ready to display them. Unnecessarily, I label the I avoiding "real" work?

Finally, I am ready to start. I had a few new ideas before I went away, and one or two new inspirations from my travels. Post-it notes with sketches and scribbles are scattered across the studio and in assorted notebooks. Impossible to decide what to do: a warm-up activity is required.

I roll out some clay and return to a tried-and-tested design.

Next week I will feel ready to try something new.

Learning point: when coming back, you have to retread familiar ground before moving forward.

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