Tiny terracotta tiles , and grief , and artist’s block 

For those of you that don’t know, my lovely mum died at the end of May . She had reached the ripe age of 90 , and had been in care as she had Alzheimer’s . It had been a while since I could be certain that she know who I was , so we had been saying goodbye for a long time to the person she once was . 

So my sister and I were prepared for her leaving us , it wasn’t a shock , and like in many cases it was indeed a blessing . We had become orphans , as my father had passed away 12 years before . I really thought I had done my grieving in the last 7 years of that terrible Alzheimer’s period . But of course I hadn’t . The memories of my mother before the diagnosis came rushing back ,and I’m missing that person she was – again . I recently snuck into the yard of their old beachside home (which looked like it hadn’t been visited in 6 months sadly ) and stole some lemons , took some cuttings , and just sat on the back step . It was so comforting and lovely. 

Since returning from my fabulous trip to the US ( see previous posts , I had such good intentions to keep blogging !! ) , I’ve become stagnant in my making . One would think that having such a fabulous experience as having my solo show with Charlie Cummings Gallery (FABULOUS) , NCECA (it was ) and seeing all my lovely internetty freinds ( AMAZING) , would be a big ROCKET to catapult me into the studio feeling refreshed and ready to MAKE !! But actually it just did the opposite weirdly . I felt utterly and completely burnt out . I really am an ‘all or nothing ‘ girl ,I really need deadlines ,  so (apart from my gorgeous teaching commitments) I did nothing . Which then just became even less than nothing after mum died . 
I did what some people do and went online shopping , buying from the one and only gentleman potter – Michael Kline  of his BEAUTIFUL ceramic coasters . 

Years and years ago , I used to make terracotta tiles with little brass hooks glued to the back to hang as a display . So this sparked a little something off in my tiny little brain . (Thank you Michael xx) And I started tinkering and playing , with no real thought of where I was going with them . The first little bunch were pretty plain (for me !) White slip over terracotta , cobalt oxide brush work & a bit of sgraffito . 

They have come out SO BEAUTIFULLY 💙 

And this first batch are now in my online store , yes international shipping too ! 

One of the interesting things that has happened is the conversation that ensued over on my Instagram account . And the kindness . So many people have experienced the very same emotions and artist block , of course I’m not alone in that . What is intruiging is the public face of social media , and everyone has a different use for it , usually shows all the good stuff . I think it’s so important to show the real studio life , otherwise there is this perception that we have all got our shit together . Which we don’t . Because we.are.human . 

Scoot over to my Instagram account to read the conversation 

So then THIS happened ……… 

Very very meditative . All that scratching , sgraffito and painting . I have possibly woken up my sore wrist & elbow , so maybe not a good idea to make these ALL the time !! 

I’m planning to pop a small batch of these up in the online store when they are done , possibly Sunday evening (AEST MELBOURNE july 9th)  and will have a nice range of them with me in the SPRING /SUMMER market season at the Heide Makers Market opening September 9th 💙

So I suppose that’s it then ? I’ll just keep faffing about , and making when I feel like it ?Thanks for reading this very long ramble , 


Adriana xx 
(PS …..  I have NO IDEA how the advertising below got here !  So my apologies until I can work out how to get RID of it !! Ugh ) 


4 thoughts on “Tiny terracotta tiles , and grief , and artist’s block 

  1. Even faffing is very important! I agree that it is important to reflect other aspects in social media, and there have been some wonderful discussions when people do!
    I also think it is important for there to be ‘block’ periods (maybe not as long as mine, at 20 years!!!), as it tends to allow your creativity to rest and maybe move off in a new directions.
    Hugs from over here,

    • Thank you Joanna , I didn’t make very much when my children were very young !
      The discussion has really surprised me , and Im very grateful for everyones words of support .
      Maybe Im due for a sabbatical ? 12 months in the UK maybe ? Hugs received gratefully xx

  2. I was just cleaning out my Junk mail folder when I spotted this. It should have been in my Jewel Mail folder. I can appreciate your process, your grief and the pause in your making. Sometimes our emotions need space around them. They need room to fill, expand, dance and rage. When they are preparing to shift they will find a way to be heard. You have done that intuitively but perhaps a suggestion from another warm hearted potter? Consider it not a ‘block’ but a ‘pause’ while you allow for these important emotional shifts to take place and the creative vigour that will no doubt follow. These words come with love. Xo

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