• chrispellow

Emotional Creations


First of all, apologies for not keeping up my weekly postings. But I think you will understand WHY I did not write for so long when you are finished with this post.

I NEED to feel happy in order to create. That goes for claying, writing, trying out a new recipe, anything creative in my mind. Unlike my husband, who can turn his anger with politicians and the general state of affairs in the world, into a high energy song, I need to be calm and rather without worries before I can handle clay and a tissue blade!

Or so I thought.

So, a few weeks ago our swallows returned from their long trip to South Africa. They are the most amazing fliers, and hearing their twitter when they arrive is one of the most enjoyable sounds in the world.

The first two to arrive, taking up residence above our door.


Ever since we moved here I have kept a diary about them, logging when they arrive, when they nest, when the eggs hatch, etc. We even installed a small infrared camera to check on their progress and watched it for hours. It has been a new and intriguing journey.


This year, unlike the 10 years before, they arrived a week late and they had to come back to completely destroyed nests! When we had the storms before Christmas, some sparrows took shelter in the nests and completely made a mess of them, leaving only a few bits and pieces intact. But within 2 hours, the swallows created a completely new one, decorated the inside with white feathers and laid their eggs over the next 3 days, one each day.


The joy these little birds bring me gets my muse going. I am so grateful and happy they return and trust us enough to build their nest so close to us. I felt invigorated, I felt the urge to create something new.


But then we got the bad news of my sweet mother-in-law who had given up, she quietly slipped into her eternal sleep. The pain of her passing, the grief on my husband’s face, it opened up the wounds and memories of losing my dad several years ago. I could not translate this pain into claying. My mind went numb and my automatic pilot kicked in.

I HAD to make things for my first summer craft fair, so I sat down and started conditioning clay, adding inks.. making beads… slowly but surely, tears stopped flowing and the more I concentrated on what I was doing, the better I felt. With that feeling came more ideas for other pieces to make and heaps of beads further, I have realised that I CAN create while being sad. The starting process is different but the result is the same.

I do not necessarily make sad or angry items when claying.. but I MAKE things.

And so life goes on… while waiting for the eggs to hatch, the sheep in the field behind us have started lambing and we are now joined by those little woolly creatures who cry for their mom day AND NIGHT.. and who hop so funnily around the field.


Venturing out in the big wide world.


Resting after a tiring day of hopping around.


Brother and sister asleep in the field. They do like a soft pillow.

The world around us scares me and sometimes I feel totally overwhelmed by it all, but I know now that if I put my head down, with a piece of clay in my hands, in a few hours, I can make sense of it all again.

I hope that you can do the same,

Till next time,


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