Head In The Clouds

If you don’t believe in brownies, you should see my studio. Only a regiment of fairy folk could have created the chaos that now reigns in my studio. Or one slightly distracted fiber artist.

I’m preparing materials for two upcoming events, including a 5-day fiber camp for kids that comes later this month at the same time as the deadline for a big set of teaching proposals for next year. With preparation and development tasks happening simultaneously, my beautiful mind feels not so beautiful. When I should be counting class kit elements, my mind wanders to “what ifs.” And I find myself staring out the window with my head in the clouds.

I used to chide myself for this undisciplined behavior. But as it turns out, it can be a good thing. According to the New York Times, researchers now say:

A wandering mind can protect you from immediate perils and keep you on course toward long-term goals. Sometimes daydreaming is counterproductive, but sometimes it fosters creativity and helps you solve problems. 

Did you notice how much that cloud looks like a lightening bolt? Or how the negative space between the clouds looks like a heart? And I think that dragon is about to chomp the top off one of the pine trees.

I’m back now, but only for a few minutes. Today is my day to do errands in town, which includes picking up some class materials. And while I get lots of good ideas behind the wheel, it still takes studio time to develop those ideas.

Development is not glamorous. It only looks like magic because you don’t see all the false starts and bad middles it takes to come to a good ending. I seldom take pictures of those stages. That’s not because I’m trying to preserve the mystery of it all, but because I’m so busy trying to figure out what the heck to do next I forget to pick up the camera.

Maybe I could get the fairies to start taking pictures. What would you have them photograph?

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Donna Kallner

fiber artist, teacher and explorer, inspired by ancient fiber techniques and all the ways contemporary fiber artists give old ideas a new spin