My time spent so far in New Harmony has been incredible. Mostly, it’s the type and pace of work I’m doing that is having a completely positive affect on me. If you’ve never visited New Harmony, IN, let me just say, that it’s a historically intriguing place. (I’m including an article that can help to bring you up to speed if you’re interested.)
During the early part of the 19th century, New Harmony was the site of two attempts to establish Utopian communities. The first, Harmonie (1814-1825), was founded by the Harmonie Society, a group of Separatists from the German Lutheran Church. Led by their charismatic leader Johann Georg Rapp, they left their first American home in Harmonie, Pennsylvania, and established a second community on the western frontier of Indiana, where they acquired a much larger tract of land.
This has been the best thing for me here, having time to reorient and meditate on what's important in life. I initially felt so indulgent, guilty almost, for having this uninterrupted schedule for making my work. I keep having these moments of anxiety, because I'm just so used to feeling stress when I need balance 10+ things to get everything done. The real mental challenge has been teaching myself what it feels like to work at a steady pace and accomplish my goals without those negative emotions.
So the first month here was spent making, but also cleansing my mind. That’s why I’ve been quiet on the blog front. I felt it was important to separate myself from all the things I was socially engaging in and balancing, in order to isolate myself in the studio. For that time, I have taken lots of “unplugged” walks (aka, intentionally leaving my cell phone behind) and unfortunately, tried to pick up some old habits of taking on too much responsibility, but I’ve had some great people to remind me of why I am here and help me refocus. I can’t express how grateful I am for this chance to focus on my work, and I feel as if my head is a lot clearer, so I’m really excited to jump back into this blog and start discussing all the nerdy clay discoveries that I’ve had with my work so far. I’m looking forward to more regular posts, and so I will leave you this time with a few photos of my residency landscape.
Mitzi Davis, ceramic artist and owner of MFWH
My Old Blog Still Exists!
Lots of ceramic arts techniques and processes that I use in my studio can be found in my old blog site. Click on the button below to head that way!