The impact of covid and taking ceramics online has been both devastating and exhilarating. It has changed how I work and you can find out more in this blog.
So, the last 15 months or so has had a major impact on all our lives and have changed the world. For my tiny little corner, it has changed not only how I live but how I work too. Having to close the studio gave me time to think about what I do and how I do it, but more importantly about why I do it and what’s really important to me.
I found that as an artist I wanted more time to make my own work and to get it out into the world more. I love making and my reason for becoming an artist was to make work to express myself and share my vision, show a different perspective, make people think and give joy with my artwork but to do that I need to make sure I spend time finding places to share it. I’ve already started working on this and am particularly proud of the fact that I will be showing my work as part of Art in Clay at Farnham in November this year!
But the thing is I’m not just an artist, I’m a teacher too. I run classes and workshops at my studio and, to be honest, this has been where I’ve spent most of my time since setting up the Paula Armstrong Ceramics studio in 2014. Teaching and community arts have been a part of my practice since the beginning and when I took a break from it for a couple of years some time ago I found I really missed it.
I love helping people be creative, introducing them to the joys of making with clay and all the myriad of wellbeing benefits that come from creating. I’m so proud of the fact that many of my students now have their own studios at home, take part in open studios events, sell on Etsy and more! To have the privilege to be part of people’s creative journeys and to be there to help when needed fills me satisfaction and purpose.
These realisations along with the need to go online for students to finish their courses led me to review how I work and how I share my knowledge. Online opens up access to a much greater number of people I can potentially help along their journey as well as providing much more flexibility and choice to students. Instead of only being able to learn by coming into the studio in person you can now also learn from your home or studio, live on zoom or recorded to watch at the best time for you. With my new online membership Hand Building Academy you can not only access videos and learning online but you can join a community of like-minded makers and even get your questions answered when you stuck or want to try something new and need a bit of support.
Flexibility and access have been fundamental values in the studio since I began so I love that I’m now expanding into the world of online to grow the flexibility and range of the support I can offer and am really excited launch of the online membership Hand Building Academy on the 1st August! If you dream of your own garden studio where you can while away the hours making in clay anytime you want or you already have your own studio but want to stretch into new techniques and try new things but aren’t sure where to begin then the membership can help you feel more confident in your making and build your knowledge to get you there.
It’s less than 2 weeks until it launches but the waiting list is open now and I’ve even made a Founding Member special offer for the first 20 members! You can see more here or get in touch for a chat if you prefer. I love talking clay 😊