A few years ago, partly as a means of coping with stress but mostly in continued longing for small acts of creativity, I started making things out of scraps of driftwood, copper and stones. Michaela was already creating all sorts of other things too; mainly from clay, so we started to make things together.
We made a lot of mistakes, but slowly we started to evolve a style of sorts; translated in the form of colours in glazes, raw materials and a general ethos; things had to be simple, made from recycled and found objects, or contain something of the sea and the sky. We started to gather the things we made under the label ‘seatree’.
For a while, we had a dream of this becoming our main source of income. Perhaps we could actually live in this simple way; making things that could provide for our needs, which were to be simple. In part, these dreams were thwarted and so they faded. I found it hard to find motivation to go back into my workshop. I was so busy with other things, so tired after my day job.
However, seatree never fully submerged; it was a thing that still bobbed around in the flotsam of our lives, bashed about on the odd circumstantial rock though it might be.
More recently, the things we make seem to be becoming appreciated. Galleries in a few different places are stocking them and things are selling. This is a surprise to me; I will never again sit at one of those dreadful craft fairs if I can help it, with people making appreciative noises whilst walking on by. What we make is so simple after all.
Perhaps we will never earn enough money from these things we make to making a living, but that is OK. On Saturday the rain fell, meaning that the cricket game I was due to play was cancelled. We have orders, so into the shed I went, with some reluctance.
But then I was lost into a familiar world of wood, of tools, of shaving and shaping. 10 hours later, I emerged, sore, dirty and yet alive- content within my dust-covered skin.
Here are some things that we have made;
These are really beautiful Chris. It is a beautiful idea to take something unwanted and turn it into something wanted…..alchemy for sure!
If galleries are stocking them and they are selling then I would be really pleased and treasure the fact that you have found a creative niche with an outlet.
With my own paintings I know what it is like to be ignored and often wonder if their creation is just my own self indulgence.
Anyway, when someone somewhere takes an interest or buys something it comes as a bit of a surprise frankly (well it did to me!).
After the shock, I find it to be a very affirming moment when someone else you don’t know sees enough beauty in your work to buy it!
Those are moments to treasure I find……
Cheers Angus- thanks for the encouraging words. All the best with your own lovely art too. Perhaps the problem for creative folk is that we are never fully satisfied with what we do? For myself, no amount of external validation ever quite overcomes that- but still, it helps!
True, it is difficult to be satisfied…always striving for that little bit more. Perhaps we’re just hopeless perfectionists……in which case maybe we should consider kicking the habit!