Wonder Round (Nov. 4-10, 2018) / by Hayden Michelle

Finishing the wonderful paper clay workshop and sinking myself back into the flow of life out of which I briefly stepped, I happily returned home to my family, aware of the gift of belonging, creating, and having choices. There was much reflection on so many levels from the past week, which will continue to be chewed on and explored in big and small ways for months to come…

“Last evening, many of us decided to bring food back to the house, rather than eat out in town. As we gathered around the huge table and began to relax into the privilege of a generous sharing of plentiful food and drink with one another, a sharing stories and artwork began to flow. I could feel myself opening as I listened to the initial chatter rise to a crescendo of excited exchange, laughter, and exuberance, aware that the coming together brought us all more fully alive. We had experienced this already that day as our first instructor, @GrahamHayart handed over the baton to @RebeccaHuthcinsonstudio. It was a relief to gather and celebrate the work that we had made over the first 3.5 days, and then to completely clean off our spaces, move our spots in the room around a bit, and sink into Rebecca’s energy and the gifts she brings to our group. I feel deep gratitude for the opportunity to grow alongside one another, the lines between student and teacher not so important. Thank goodness we can continue to learn every day of our lives.”

“As we enter day six of the workshop, we are assimilating the methods and inspiration we have learned and deepening their application to our own ways of working. It is both challenging and a privilege to intensively tap into the space in our brains, hearts, and hands, and bring forth what is inside— much like the plowing on ahead in days of our lives that are full of a wide spectrum of feelings and experiences, despite the energy levels that may be depleted a bit in the reservoirs of our beings. Wishing you all energy for what lies ahead as we muster up here for another day of diving in...”

“On this final day of a wonderfully full paper clay workshop, I took an early morning detour to vote. My heart felt encouraged by the snaking line of cars that filled the hill leading up to the election space, only 25 minutes after the polls opened. Let us all exercise our privileged right to vote, in hopes to join together and bring more light and change to our country and the world.”

“Going to sleep last night with election news that did not bring hoped-for change in KY, I was heartened to awaken to news across the country that did bring change, and celebrate with many the historic firsts for women and minorities in our country. I look forward to engaging in conversation about this positive and empowering aspect with my sons today, aware that there is much more work yet to be done, as forward growth happens one step at a time...”

“As I am getting my feet back on the ground after seven intensive days learning paper clay, my mind is churning around and around about how I will incorporate this knowledge into my encaustic sculptural work. I know that developing that work into new ways of being is both exciting and daunting, and have had bouts of fear related to changing what is comfortable and familiar. When I can look on it as exploring and growing, the fear diminishes somewhat, and I realize I can direct that energy to fuel me deeper into the work of digging in through experimentation and growth in scale. Who knows what will happen when we open ourselves to greater possibilities that come from unearthing things inside yet to be discovered?”

“I know several who are struggling right now in some very difficult part of their lives, and wish I could ease the burden. As I painted delicate organic forms this morning, I was brought in touch with a yearning intention for those in my mind— to experience lightness of being and freedom from that which is weighty, painful, and overwhelming, even if for but a moment, and to feel surrounded by care and love like seeds that are carried by the wind...”

“This image was completely abstract, until I finished and she appeared to me— an undeniable bird form, that seemed rooted in feminine energy, waiting... it struck me how the power of our unconscious can reveal newness every time we look, and that accessing this is as simple as sitting down and letting something—anything— flow out. We can then be present to what we need to see... She reminded me of a scared elder, containing wisdom and strength, but not needing to flaunt it— rather, she appears to be open and receptive, listening to what we have to express. What do you see?”