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Fancy Shoes & Mink Coats

I wasn’t always a potter.

My story has a few twists and turns – I was once just a solicitor with a secret dream, before I decided to follow my passion and set up my own independent pottery studio.

My heart has always been in all things creative. I remember as a small child arriving down to the sitting room on Christmas morning to an array of creative gifts…modelling sets, knitting, weaving sets, paints, jewellery kits, candle making, calligraphy…

Santa was not short on options because anything in the arts and crafts field would have me entertained for days. “How do you Do with Mary Fitzgerald” on The Den was the highlight of my week!

There was no doubt that art was a passion of mine. I had dreamed of running my own creative enterprise but I guess I thought it would always just remain a pipe-dream.

I suffer with an awful affliction called perfectionism (as many people do).

Perfectionism is nothing to do with being perfect or having high standards (cause I’m certainly not perfect and my standards, particularly in relation to housework, seem to be getting lower with each passing year!)

Perfectionism is about fear of failing and fear of not being accepted for who you are. To put it another way, perfectionists aren’t really trying to be perfect. They are avoiding not being good enough.

Perfectionism is just fear in fancy shoes and a mink coat, pretending to be elegant when actually it’s just terrified.

Elizabeth Gilbert Big Magic

This “affliction” meant that I spent the first 35 years of my life with the attitude that unless I was going to be 100% amazing at something, then there was no point in bothering at all! I’ve used this as an excuse for most of my life, especially in my artistic endeavours.

I dreamed of going to art college but I didn’t even apply because I was scared of putting myself out there and maybe getting told I wasn’t good enough.

I abandoned numerous paintings and projects half way through because I decided that they were not going to measure up to whatever idea of perfection I had in my head.

But I guess 5 kids later I’m finally starting to realise that actually nobody is perfect We’re all just doing our best to muddle our way through life. Some things we try out will work; sometimes we will fall flat on our faces, but in the end most people will admire you if you just give things your best shot.

So I decided in 2017, that the coming year was going to be a year of change for me.

I decided to ignore the insecurities, the worries about what others would think, the ten million reasons I had concocted as to why I couldn’t pursue my little pipe-dream…and I decided to turn that little pipe-dream into a reality.

Now who knows what will happen. Maybe I will fall flat on my face, but maybe, just maybe, I’ll wonder why I didn’t do this sooner….

Well there you have it, I’ve finished my first post.

It wasn’t perfect….but I tried my best… and that’s all that really matters isn’t it!!

Clair (Potter, mother and reformed perfectionist!)