Spring cleaning: why do we do it? Iranians call it khaneh takani (“shaking the house”) – and it may be good for you, after all a cluttered space does not just look a mess, it may also affect your peace of mind. “Where’s the thingymebob I need for the whatsit, I could swear I left it on the table right here while I was molding the clay on the thingy. It should be next to the whoojemaflips…oh, they’re gone too.”
Yes, clutter is the enemy of productivity, and, as you may have noticed, it also challenges one’s ability to master the terminology of the ceramicist’s workshop. Well, do you know what a kidney, a natch, a whirler, a slip trailer or a toggle is?
But those of us who are disorganised or untidy by nature need not worry. It only becomes a problem when the person is not just messy but impaired by the clutter, when significant portions of, say, a workshop cannot be used for the purpose intended or when you find yourself working cheek by jowl with a pug mill at your back, hemmed in by stacks of clay on one side and shelving on another.
We are not saying that belatrova ever allowed this to happen – it would be an exaggeration – but the time seemed right for a radical reorganisation of space.
This compulsion came over us after coming back from the Welsh countryside where grandparental duties involving children and a horse had meant open air walks and an appreciation of the wide open landscape.
An irrelevant aside: Shetland ponies are strange little things – their whole posture speaks of world weariness and fatalism, but their actual characters can be quite complex; crafty, sensitive, single-minded and self-possessed are just some of the adjectives that come to mind. This one is called Tinkerbell, sometimes known as Stinkerbell.
Walking back into the workshop after the Welsh break led to a general rolling up of sleeves and shifting of shelves, racks and slab rollers to create more space for showing our wares as well as a more suitable area for belatrovian productivity.
Result: belatrova is even more of a beehive, with some new and interesting stuff coming out of the kilns, and not just in our four ranges. This long three-legged scooped bowl has something of the 1950s about it.
Do drop in and have a look at the rest – the showroom space we now have looks good, and we’ll offer you tea or coffee (remember that Dry Martinis are only on Friday afternoons). There is usually someone in all day but it is best to give us a call beforehand just in case we are out delivering or at a meeting.