A friend described this time of pandemic as “introvert heaven.” I suspect it is also “artist heaven.” At least it seems so for me. This is not to diminish the genuine suffering caused by our current global situation, but here on Cortes Island the most challenging choice seems to be between more time in the garden or coffee at the Bear’s Picnic food truck.
For me the choice is “what to make next?” Since we have not been working oysters, I float from one creative project to another, easily covering the desk, the card table, kitchen table and studio table with glittery piles of beads, chalk, paint and embroidery thread. But something new has happened.
Old ways of working have let go.
I certainly have made drums
that blend a construction of
native style hoop and Irish bodhran,
But I have never finished the braided trim this way.
Certainly I have made this interlacement pattern before:
an octagram that represents regeneration.
But across the years I always turned the doeskin to the rough side out as I believed the smooth side would not line up evenly as the hitching progressed. I believed this, mind you, without ever trying to use the smooth side. Cannot help but wonder what else I believe but do not know.
Even my most simple design for a drumstick has undergone an apparently magical transformation. At least I think white wool is transformative, since I found some in my wool-from-Cortes-box. I mean, who has sheep this white?
Perhaps my most creative moment is in the building of this drum. First, I didn’t prepare the hide but traded the work in exchange for helping someone else build a drum, so it has been a surprise to discover the deep rich voice resulting from another’s careful knife work.
Yet most significantly, when I put the double star pattern into the cedar withe ring on its reverse, I made a mistake. Quite a big mistake. I appreciate this is the most difficult pattern I tie, but still, in the past I have taken the entire wrap out and rebuilt it. But not this time. Could this be the biggest benefit of creativity in a time of pandemic? Just accept what is rather than push to be perfect?