‘The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today.’

To some travelling to home for the spring leave might sound like many days off but I am of those kind of people who keep themselves busy even on holidays (actually time for relaxation is being scheduled as every other task). Paris gave me different perspective to think and also time and distance to develop plan for my visiting back home which happened to be quite gratifying and the small achievements were more than expected. The advantage which place like home comes with is security, in my case – the freedom to try, to experiment and eventually find the weak spots, therefore find a solution and improve them.

First week my attention was devoted to finding materials as well as precise calculations how much of each item I need to create certain amount of decoration. It was harder than expected to take under consideration every material needed to the last small details – from big insulation boards and rolls of fabric to the tea lights and craft wire. For this reason, my approach was very organized and structured – I had the model, made the calculations, created a table to visualize appropriately and used the creative map for schematic representation of the designs and ideas. The material which I was most sensitive about was the paper/ cardboard as I knew it has to be selective and carefully handpicked to serve in the best possible way for its purpose. Visiting six different stores for art and craft materials provided me with great selection of translucent paper, pearl cardstock, textured paper, structured cardboard, crepe paper and tissue paper (I am nearly a paper expert now).

Second week was dedicated for experiments. What concerned me most was the big origami I am going to create for the entrance; I already had 1:10 model and now my intention was to create 1:2 more closer to the actual model of styrofoam and cardboard. The new creation looked a bit clumsy but raised questions and unclearness around the assembling which was later resolved. That rehearsal gave me the confidence I needed and additionally it was like contagious mania because new ideas started to emerged making me to stay up late folding and drawing and creating lanterns, vases and other decorations.

Third week brought the instant gratification of creating something beautiful, something special with my hands and a lot of time and attention – the statuette for public award. It was a process and it got through several transformations. Began as homemade recipe for ‘cold porcelain’ which was strong air drying material sculpting with which might look like working with polymer clay but actually feels different and also required new tools which I also created myself. However, the result looked somehow cheap and not good enough. Few things were changed and still it was not the one I was aiming for. I know that crafters sometimes suffer from strive for perfection and it can be devastating but this was not the case. One of the most valuable lessons to be learned is to know when to quit trying and forcing something to happen and complete change to something else. Being at home the solution was in front of my eyes all the time – the benefit of having stone and tools for working with stone. So marble it is! Four days shaping, polishing, engraving, stylizing the statuette from white marble and one more day to make the stand of black granite. I actually put so much effort and heart in this award that it will be hard to give it away!

‘Yes, you can have it all, but not all at the same time. Set your own priorities, trust your gut and follow your heart.’ That time spend home was the balance I was lacking in my work, the distance I needed to adjust my focus and also the family surrounding to fill me up with energy. Now, two weeks until the festival, I feel excited and nervous because from now on there won’t be experiments and trials, everything should be the best.

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