just make something - finding your way to creativity

Creative ProcessEllie BeckComment

I find my creative outlets in many ways. I am not only a weaver, or writer or photographer or stitcher, or or or.. I am all those and something else too. I find that when I want to do something I simply pick it up and do it. I don't have to define my skills or talents in this outlet, but I do notice my artistic voice follows through with many different mediums. 

So, if you're one of those people who thinks they're not creative. Then what I'm saying is... just do it. Just try something, and don't worry too much about it being perfect, or right, or that you're following the rules. Do what feels right for you, do what seems right at the time, do what looks right with your eyes. 

Sure, there's some crafts or arts that require some certain ways of working to make them work, but in the bigger scheme of things I think it's so much more important to not get hung up on it having to be right or not, and simply just doing it. Going ahead and having a go. Making mistakes, learning lessons, throwing away someone else's rule book to create your own non-set of rules. 


A couple of months ago my sister and I went to a term long clay class. Learning the very very hard craft of wheel throwing. I'm pretty sure to get to the art of wheel throwing you need to invest hours and hours and hours (years) of your life into this practice. But whatever, I'm not talking about the qualifying of it being good or bad wheel throwing. Just the doing of it. In fact many pieces were bad, they barely made it off the wheel. But that's part of the process, of the learning, the doing, the mistake-ing, and the pushing through. 

I've had my fired pieces in my home for a few months now. And well... I actually freaking love them. Their imperfections, their wonkiness, their too heavy-ness, or too fat, or too thin parts. The glaze being messy and not applied right. All of it. Ok... some bits I love more than other bits, but that's good too. 

They are not pieces I would ever sell. In fact ceramics would never be something for me (at this stage of my life) that I would make for selling. It's not my journey. But, hand crafted clay ware holds a special place in my heart, soul, memory, mind. I grew up with it, surrounded by it. My mum in her studio, at her wheel. My half-sister & half-brother's* dad being a full time potter. Our shelves and washing up stand as a child was full of pieces made by people we knew, or who my parents respected as potters. And our shelves now have as much as we can afford bit by bit slowly growing. 

What I'm writing about is that it doesn't matter what you do, as a creative outlet, just do something. Teach yourself something new, go to a class, or an online school. Ask your kids to teach you what they're learning, or your neighbour, or your friend. Be ready and eager to make mistakes, to make a fool of yourself, to get upset and throw away the clay, to give over to the ideas in your head of what you might make. 

And simply enjoy appreciate notice acknowledge what you do make. What you did make. 


Some creative makings that I did wrong:

  • I taught myself how to do bookbinding -- following some books from the library, some help from some people I know, but mostly my memories of making them with my sister when I was younger, and my own ideas of what I wanted. I pushed aside the fussy rules, and the strict ways of it having to be right, and just did what made me happy.
  • I made some funny wonky pots. I had the memories of my mother at her wheel, and her frustrations and joys. And also a very good teacher, Todd, at Byron School of Clay (highly recommend if you live in the area). And I just kept on being content with what I made.
  • I made some quilts that aren't really proper quilts, because they don't have a binding as such, and only lightly quilted. And they're wonky, and have bumps, and the wrong fabric used. And the corners don't line up neatly.
  • Oh... yeah, I'm making (continually evolving) a business that has so many wrong things I must have turned back the corner to 'almost right'. Haha.
  • I made cakes without following recipes and they were some of the best cakes I've ever made. Some were terrible and couldn't be even eaten. 
  • ....... I'm sure there's at least a hundred more things, and then some more... maybe you can remind me and I'll tell you why they're actually ok, and didn't need to qualify for being perfect.

*we don't call my brother & sister "half", we're all simply one big family. But some people find it a bit confusing to think about.

What are you going to make that might be wrong, wonky, funny to look at? But will be deliciously nourishing for the soul.

What are you going to just make, without over-thinking it? 

And more importantly how is it going to make you feel?! 


Creative Makers - Ceramics I love #letsallsupportcreatives

ellie1 Comment
These pieces by Kim Wallace Ceramics.
These pieces by: from top left - Megan Puls, large blue bowl Kim Wallace, smaller green bowl Pebuku Pottery, beaker cup Pebuku Pottery, pourer jug Megan Puls, spotty dish Elke Lucas, small blue dish Kim Wallace.
These two pieces by unknown local artists.

Beaker cups - from left to right: Elke Lucas, Megan Puls, Susan Simonini, Harvest Clay, Pebuku Potteryay gold coast

Small scoop spoon by Pinky & Maurice Ceramics, painted spoon by Tamsin Ainslie

Last week I decided to start sharing some makers and creatives who I love and appreciate and respect. To share the maker love, and to start a conversation about supporting our creatives. A conversation about the realities of the income of artists, crafters, creatives in our country (in many countries really!). 

I'm not going to go into too much detail today, perhaps another day. Today - an image heavy post with just a small selection of some of our favourite ceramic pieces. Lots more in our home. We love using pieces that someone has made with their own hands, that someone has spent hours, sometimes days making and watching dry and firing and having the devastation of it cracking or not firing properly. And the sheer joy of it coming out of the kiln perfectly perfect. 

I love the little indentations of the artists hand upon the pieces - that imperfection of knowing someone made the piece. 

I made a lovely little magazine layout story of this on a fabulous fun app called Steller. Oh that's going to be a great place for me to play and share. You can view the story online here, or download the app and follow along with my other stories (search Ellie Beck or Petalplum). 

I'd love you to share your own Creative Maker loves. To spread the word about why we should support and value the artists in our community. I'm using #letsallsupportcreatives to connect us all on Instagram, if you'd like to join in there. Or leave a comment with your favourite makers for me to look at.