As my few readers will have noticed, I was a bit disgruntled with the Troon craft fair on October 17th…so I thought it only right to redress the balance and say that the fair at Troon on November 14th was full of affirmation of what I do from the stalwart customers who went to the trouble of turning up on a blustery, wild, wet day. Thank you to those people who were so encouraging and complimentary, I felt so much more hopeful and inspired by the end of the day.

As usual there was only very dingy light in the hall, made worse by the dark weather, but that’s all due to be modernised in the new year, so I’m hopeful that the lighting will be changed. Someone told me that the floor is perfect for dancing, and it was a whole new picture to imagine the hall full of dancers.

Despite some progress made with new designs, I’ve had a bit of a slump in my confidence regarding bead making, as I’ve been through a period of focusing purely on pushing myself as an artist. I’m surprisingly competitive and want to stand out as a bead maker, I like being like this, but it is also quite alarming, I’m scaring myself! However, if I can push myself as far as I can as an artist, then I will have achieved something that I think is worthwhile, on a personal level. There is no room for resting on any kind of laurels, certainly not the ones I have as yet, there is far to go.
My latest beads are large, they take about two hours each, by the time I’m nearing completion of a bead, just when I need to be on top form, I’m flagging, especially if I’ve already made a couple and it’s nearing 3am. I have made some decent strides in artistry, but I need to perfect the technical aspects of the beads I want to make, I’m grateful for the new kiln programme from Sean at OffMandrel, which will anneal these big beads…I’m very excited about my new beads.
As always when I have had a bit of success, there is a sudden come down from which I must pick myself up, I can’t rely on achievement to give me some sort of peace, I’m already chasing the next thing I want to do. It’s not easy being like that, and combined with recent events, I have found myself in a familiar space which mostly involves wondering what the point of my being alive is. ‘Blimey,’ you might be thinking now, ‘here she goes again, getting heavy’ but it’s the truth for me, and as far as I know, creative people (and especially depressives like me) get like that, and while it might not be ‘normal’ to say it out loud, it’s pretty normal to think it occasionally, for a lot of people. It doesn’t mean I want to be dead (although I occasionally I hit the depths where I feel being dead would be a nice ‘rest’ – how thick is that?!!! or does it just mean I’m tired?) I’m just thinking about my place on the planet, and what’s the betting that a lot of women whose children have left home find themselves in this position, rethinking what they are actually ‘for’ now that their roles as mothers have diminished?

Even two years after leaving London (and thereby our son James at uni there) and moving to Scotland, I am not sure what I am ‘for’, what is my role and purpose in life? While I figure that out, I’m just trying to make the best of the life I have been given, one day at a time. Sometimes I am very bad at that, and need a little nudge to see the bigger picture, so, when I met people at Troon last weekend who were complimentary about my glass work, who bought some of it, and even those who were returning customers coming to get their ‘Min bead fix’, I felt affirmed, and as if there is a point to making beads, and being me. Glass beads give me a place in my world, they challenge me as an artist. I know I’m a daughter, wife, mother and friend, and being those things is important to other people (thanks guys) but first and foremost is the relationship I have with myself. After all I have to live in my head, and that takes some managing…oh to be simple and uncomplicated, and not to think too much…