Mud, Glorious Mud
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Dear Reader,

The utter joy of getting splattered in muck and making pots in my studio didn't really happen until my second child was a toddler. By then, kneading a ball of clay was all it took to bring me down to earth when life would begin to overwhelm. When those dark thunder clouds would hover over me, then I was off - my feet grounded, my hands firmly on the clay, but my head rising above the storm.

Some of those first pots I made on the wheel made me so happy and proud. The "whoosh" effect of holding something you've made with your own hands is so powerful. The way art makes us feel is such an important concept for me, and I am very much in touch with this when I'm commissioned to make something for someone. Just being in the studio and throwing or hand building with clay is therapy enough, but if my work makes other people happy, then I get a visceral swoosh of delight too.

Pottery has transformed my life, and with World Mental Health Day having just passed I wanted to share this idea with you. I'm a huge advocate for all crafts. Perhaps scrapbooking is your jam? Or maybe you're into crotchet, like Sutton Foster - see below in Flea Bites. How about baking, stamp collecting or even needlework? Whatever it is that you choose to do, I firmly believe that the simple act of creating and making things with our hands has the ability to heal and soothe the heart.

Good luck, and please share your crafting stories with me.

With Love,

Flea x 

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EDMUND DE WAAL: "THIS LIVING HAND"

In the last newsletter, I highlighted the Henry Moore Studio & Gardens in Hertfordshire. Edmund de Waal, a Potter, Artist, and Writer, currently presents an exhibition - "This Living Hand" (only on show for two more weeks!) De Waal investigates the tactile experience that is so important to understanding Moore's work, and in this exhibition, you are invited to touch and feel his bronze, stone, and wooden sculptures. Moore was fascinated by the expressive power and symbolism of the hand.

HOOKED: HOW CRAFTING SAVED MY LIFE

For Sutton Foster, Crotchet is a survival tactic.

From the moment Foster picked up a cross-stitch needle to escape the bullying chorus girls in her early performing data, she was hooked. Cross-stitching led to crocheting, crocheting led to collages, which led to drawing and so much more. Channelling her emotions into her creations centered Sutton as she navigated the significant moments in her life, and they gave her tangible reminders of her experiences.

Now, in this charming and poignant book, Sutton shares those moments - including her fraught relationship with her agoraphobic mother, a painful divorce splashed across the pages of the tabloids, and her struggles with fertility. Witty and poignant, Hooked will leave readers entertained and inspire them to pick up their own cross-stitch needles and paintbrushes.

SOPHIA'S MIRROR: THE WISE WOMAN

"Grandma, how do you deal with the pain?"

Contemporary Mysticism through Art, Writing, and Poetry.

"When you look at the hands of older people, they tell more about their lives than any other part of the body. Everything that is made by hand, so is said, is made with the heart because it really is like this: hands and heart are connected."

The art of pottery relies heavily on the use of our hands; the connection between hand and heart rings so beautifully true. One can create the most incredible pieces without consciously meaning to, by relying on the way the hands effortlessly create, as the clay ebbs and flows between our fingers, in a way similar to the clear blue waters of the ocean.

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Florence St George

Unit 10, Arlesey Business Park, Mill Lane, Arlesey, Bedfordshire, SG15 6RF

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