Once upon a time in another life it seems now, I ran a business making fused glass. I designed and made all kinds of things from small trinkets to custom awards. I attended trade and craft shows and supplied shops. When I stopped drinking, I stopped making glass. It was something I’d enjoyed for so long, and then because as it served as a reminder, it was gone. I have a lovely workshop at the bottom of our garden, I used to spend many evenings in there with a glass of wine while I worked, but it’s just collecting dust now.
I wasn’t always creative, so it’s seems funny almost, to think that I ran a creative business. But then, that’s wrong really, I was just scared. At school because I didn’t achieve what the art teachers set out, I felt like I wasn’t artistic. Our lessons were very prescribed and there was little room for freedom of expression. I didn’t feel like I could draw so I didn’t.
Years later, and purely by accident I fell into making glass. I enjoyed it and experimented, trying new things. I was told my work was good, I couldn’t really see it because it came to me fairly easily, but I enjoyed doing it, and people paid to buy it, so I carried on. Doing the bigger pieces stressed me out a little, because I was no longer doing what I wanted to do, but instead fulfilling a brief and it meant there was the possibility I could get it wrong. Again though, people seemed happy, so I kept going.
Then it stopped. I didn’t have the patience, concentration or time and like I said, it’s surprising what a reminder it is. So being creative almost dried up completely for me. I was down there the other day just looking. It’s like a museum with all my boxes, supplies, signs and what not. It’s all been frozen. Maybe one day I’ll get back to it.
I find crafting without a purpose tricky. I admire people that do it, but I always feel that I need to justify it with a reason. My mother-in-law sews, she uses it as her time to unwind, but I feel that I need to have a reason and so for me, knowing I was making to sell, or to supply shops helped. It meant I was doing it for someone else.
Needing to justify your creativity is a funny thing. I don’t feel I need a reason to enjoy reading a book but to express myself feels different somehow. I could never have imagined being able to write so people could read my thoughts, but that’s what I do now. For a long time I wanted to, but I didn’t have the courage. Over time I got braver and I find that now writing really helps me work through things and unmuddle myself.
Being able to express myself helps me retain my calm and my composure. Creativity is a wonderful thing, regardless of what form it takes. The best thing is that there are so many different ways to be creative and so if the first thing doesn’t suit, there are plenty more options to try. I’m working on a couple of new things right now, and it’s exciting. I’m giving myself permission to try different things, for no other reason than to explore what I can do. If something more comes of it then that’s great, and if it doesn’t then maybe I’ll have learned something, and enjoyed myself while I’m doing it!
Take care of yourselves and thank you for reading.