Home » Using ceramics to embrace creativity, heal, and transcend tough times

Using ceramics to embrace creativity, heal, and transcend tough times

Ceramic pendants fresh out of the kiln. Look closely, you can still see residue from the pasta letters I used to spell the words!

Welcome to my first post of the new year! No champagne or party horns here, I started off by cutting and stamping hundreds of ceramic pendants for no particular reason. Trust me, I’ll find a great use for them! You see, production work is my go-to way to settle my spirit. I needed it this weekend. On Thursday morning, we got word that one of Patrick’s cousins had passed away unexpectedly. Patrick literally lost his breath when he heard the news, he was so shocked. It took him a minute to get the words out. His cousin was loved by so many people, he was barely 50-years-old and had his whole life ahead of him. When I heard the news, my heart was broken. Not only for his cousin, but for all the family. I just didn’t feel like going out to celebrate, or even really being around people that day. I decided to stay in for New Year’s Eve.

I ended up, like always, in the art studio. I pulled out a hunk of clay and some cookie cutters and began to cut shapes. Then I pulled out some stamps and a bag of alphabet pasta. Next thing I knew, I had an assembly line going. I created dozens of pendants all with uplifting affirmational sayings and words. Totally on the fly, I had no directive in mind, it’s like my hands just took over and got to work while my mind processed the day’s tragic event.


This picture is super blurry because I downloaded it from my Snapchat feed. After I fired all of them, I started adding the underglazes. Normally I’m all about color, color, color. But not this time. I just let my mood guide me and this is how it’s going so far. Pretty mellow.


Honestly, I have no idea what they are going to end up looking like, but I’m excited to find out! I thought about Patrick’s family the entire time I made all of these, and also about people and relationships in general. People want to be recognized and appreciated when they are alive and remembered when they pass. I hope Patrick’s cousin call feel all the love that his family and friends have for him. And I hope he experienced kindness from others leading up to his last days. All of this motivates me even more to have purpose and concentration when it comes to communicating and interacting with others.

That is a lifelong resolution, not just for 2016!

I hope this post didn’t bum you out! Sometimes creativity isn’t all about the glitter and sequins, but more as a way to heal and process the tough moments in life. This weekend was definitely one of those times. I remember thinking, “I’ll make a dozen.” I truly got lost in the moment and make a LOT.

On a happier note – this Thursday I’m headed off to Anaheim for the Craft and Hobby Trade Show! It will be my first time since 2006 that I’ll be there on my own as a freelance designer. Even though I have two new Crafty Chica product lines debuting this year, I don’t have to work any demo tables! I actually get to walk the floor and try out all the new products. I’m also teaching a seminar, and speaking on a panel. And squeezing in Disneyland one day, even though it is supposed to rain!

I’ll have a blog post roundup when I get back, but for randomness and backstage pass anecdotes, follow me on Snapchat @craftychica – I’ll be reporting each day, I’ll probably livestream a Periscope too.

OK, bye for now! Happy New Year!

P.S. Please send prayers and/or good thoughts to Patrick’s familia, they really need it. I will be eternally grateful!

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7 thoughts on “Using ceramics to embrace creativity, heal, and transcend tough times”

  1. Kathy I recently began to follow your posts after re-discovering a fabulous AZ Republic ‘Culture Corner’ article you’d written 9/4/97 on my daughter Kimberly Chavarria. At the time she was a dancer on the Phoenix Mercury dance line. I too had met you years ago at a Hispanic Women’s Conference, your table filled with delightfully festive wares! I purchased a red canvas striped pillow with the delicate face of a Latina at its center (that I still have!) and my daughter a striking red, yellow and green flowered clay pot (that she still has!). Your journey has been remarkable and inspirational. Soooo…a couple months ago I dusted off my book manuscript and my camera, both shelved since the deaths of my brother, mother and father within 3 years.

    After reading today’s post on the death of Patrick’s cousin, I was reminded of my brother’s passing at 58, it’s heartbreaking. I understand Patrick’s (and yours) pain at losing his primo so young. Growing up together, Latinos form celebrated unshakable bonds, the boys and girls, a life-long blessing. May your love for him strengthen you and his memories wear on your hearts forever.

    I completed the manuscript and with my nature snapshots, a collected tranquility.

    Muchas gracias Kathy for igniting the GLITTER within!

  2. Prayers are being sent to our Lord above for your families lost. Sometimes,we just wonder ” why? Why now” well,God had a need for him just a bit too soon. An extra prayer for your Husband..time will hopefully heal.

  3. How cute!! Did you leave the pasta letters in the clay as they were fired??
    Also, how did you get the paint inside the letters?

  4. Hi, Cathy, Dense here, could you give me a little more graphic description of what you do with the alphabet letters: 1. Letters are left in when the piece is fired, 2. Then ? /The more I read your blog the better I like it. Virginia


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