Two years ago, for Christmas, one of my team members gifted me a voucher to go towards taking a ceramics class. It was her way of telling me "slow down, try out a new hobby, destress". Haha! I have a reputation around here as being a very type A person especially when it comes to 7115. Go hard or go home. I live by that motto.
The voucher sat on my wall for almost a whole year before I had a chance to use it. Work picked up and things got extremely busy here at the 7115 HQ. Before I knew it, the holiday season had rolled back around. It was during this time that my husband and I found out we were expecting. If the voucher wasn't enough of a reminder, then the pregnancy was definitely a sign that it was time to take a step back and slow down. So I decided to put that voucher to good use and take a ceramics class during my first trimester. It was time to pick up a new hobby.
It had been almost ten years since I had done ceramics, but getting back on the wheel felt natural, like riding a bicycle. As I began adjusting to the huge life change, ceramics became a bigger and bigger part of my life. I started to throw for at least a couple hours every morning. Centering, pulling, getting my hands messy and focusing on being present with just one task felt therapeutic. During my pregnancy I had to take a step back from work, mentally and physically, and learn that it was okay to do less with my time. Working on my ceramics was a big part of helping me understand that. Even though I did take a step back and slow down, I was still me: a very type A person. I got extremely into my new hobby to the point where my husband had to build me a shelf just for my ceramics. I threw almost every morning up until I was eight and a half months pregnant (when I could no longer sit in front of my wheel!). During that time I designed and created well over a hundred different prototypes for mugs, vases, bowls, plates, tumblers...just to name a few. I was inspired to create practical yet beautiful things that not just I but my customers could use in their everyday lives. The ceramics that we have in our holiday gift shop pop-up were all hand-thrown during my pregnancy. They are the very best pieces that I designed and developed throughout this time. Every piece is special, one of a kind and made with love by me (and Cody). I hope that this year they can make a nice gift for someone special. That voucher was truly a gift that kept on giving.
Photos by Shirley Cai
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