Every time I return to the UK, as I travel from one country to another and then on the the counties of England, I start to relish the idea of taking a walk to smell the earth, the streets and woodlands and to revitalize those aspects so critical to my sense of wellbeing. Visiting different cultures may impress us with those things that separate us to create the cultural differences, diverse ethnicity and so on, but for me it has been important to retain the culture that so fashioned my life.
My love of the US will always be – nothing can really shake that from me. The people I have met throughout the past 25 years of living there remind me of kindness and sharing life. My work has always been well received and these past three months spent touring states and teaching seminars was I think the most successful period ever and I think the most rewarding too.
Craft and work have always united for me in a proclivity of thoughtful creativity at every turn. Craft for me is not so much a pastime or activity so much as a dedication of time I feel called to as a working artisan. When I came to the conclusion that an amatuer creates what he or she does because they love to do it I realised that that was exactly what I was too.
As I walked yesterday, the cold biting my ears and nose, I looked at work created recently and then again 200 years ago. Split slate fences wired atop and interdependent on one another last decades and centuries. The wire rusts and split slate stands firm. The lambs squeeze through and then bleat for their mothers calling from the other side. In the village graveyard, quarried slate split and fashioned by eye at the chisel’s edge and hammer’s tap 200 years ago speak of kind patience embellishing a headstone the name and life the carver knew.
The Penrhyn Castle gardeners had their name changed and thereby their job title. No longer gardeners but wardens? Inside they will always be gardeners. I walked past and lamented the loss of a massive oak that once proudly overlooked the sea below. Almost 5′ diameter, the root line stood perpendicular to the world as the stem lay flat and lifeless. What wind could uproot such mass and leave it lying there so sadly?
As I wandered the pathways worn through ages past i saw the snowdrops brown and dry and knew yet that daffodils would soon emerge in pastures of rich and golden yellow. I was glad not to have missed this phase of sunshine to my life. Tomorrow I begin work in the workshop again. I look forward to that.