What is our work about?

(Some re-posts of my favourite past posts for new readers…life is busy – good, mosaic, creative busy – and the pics will come soon…)

I am trying to understand why making  is so transformative. I am sitting in my studio, cutting and laying tiles, placing them, moving them a millimetre this way and that until my eye is satisfied. I am making colour choices and pondering the reflective qualities of material. Materials given to me by the Earth and shaped into squares by human cleverness and by machines so that I may have the privelage to be a mosaic artist.

I step back from my work, look from a distance, admire the image that is emerging, that is taking on its own life, sometimes (often) feeling disatissfied and trying again with a new colour or flow of tiles. I complete a piece. I stroke it, like stroking a child, in awe that it exists when once it didn’t – that I have bought this ‘something’ into being. Something that is a work of my hands but also of my heart.

I ponder all these thoughts while I work alone in my studio. As I work, I listen to some podcasts by John O’Donohue and am struck by his words “When we are making, we are on holy ground”. Yes, this place where I make is sacred. I remember the title of a book by Elizabeth O’Connor Eighth Day of Creation”  and consider that I am a partner with the Creator, continuing the work of creating, of filling the world with beauty, wonder, whimsy, depth and reflections of the vast inner and outer worlds we experience.

But still I grapple, trying to understand the power of making, of creating anything – be it using words, sounds, tiles, paper, colour, food, plants, yarn, fabric, your body or voice…

Then, like an email sent by One who sees my thoughts, these two quotes arrive in my inbox this week.

He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.                                                                                            St Francis of Assisi

Our work is more than work. It is enchantment. A divine act of creation and re-creation, which is also recreation. It is compassion on the loose.
Matthew Fox

I am still pondering….

17 Responses to “What is our work about?”

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  1. honeybee says:

    Such a thought-provoking post, Concetta. Not only are your mosaics beautiful, but so are your words. I'm glad I met you through Kelly's e-course!

  2. Anonymous says:

    You have put into words what I have always felt about my creating. Thank you. Sandy

  3. sophieswildhair says:

    LOVE this Concetta. We need far more creators on holy ground. Beautifully written.

  4. Bobbie Dacus says:

    Concetta, thanks for popping by my blog. I love your post about "work" .. it was so meaningful and spirt filled. Your mosaics are awesome.. that's something I've always wanted to try. AND, love the name of your blog"Glittering Shards"! Awesome!

  5. Creating Trouble says:

    I really like that quote of St Francis about hands, head and heart. I often find myself having to explain why I would want to make some of the things I do, and trying to work out why I do seems to be as hard; I think you may have hit on the answer.

  6. ANNiE says:

    Wonderful post! Thank you for making me feel not so alone or odd for feeling the same about my mosaics. 🙂

  7. Kerri says:

    i love mosaics too! when i was taking my first class i wrote a song called "magic" about it. it starts out "a thousand tiny pieces, i try to make them fit…" i love pieces together and then having something that makes sense at the end of it all.

    i've not been at it long, and don't have your talent, but that's another thing a love about it. even as a complete amateur i am able to make something i'm proud of! 🙂

  8. Concetta says:

    Oh Kerri, I can tell you that my students (beginners) make work that I am 'envious' of it is so stunning. We are all on a journey eh….? Will be over checking out your music!! x

  9. Concetta says:

    Thank you all for your encouragement, it means SO MUCH. xx

  10. Rachel Nixon says:

    Such a lovely post- I agree, creating is magical 🙂

  11. Adriana Mufarrege says:

    Hello from Argentina. I came here from Sonia King´s facebook. I´ve never done mosaic; I'll do it some day, it seems beautiful to me. I'd like to ask your advice about an easy and cheap way to do mosaic in a primary school. I´m an art teacher always looking for new activities for my pupils.
    I have a blog, too (http://plasticaenescuelas.blogspot.com). It´s in Spanish, but it has only a few words, most of it are images of children's art. You can also see my personal website http://ampinturas.brinkster.net
    Being able to create beautiful things with our hands (and our minds and our hearts) is a wonderful gift. It's also a way of rebellion against consumer society and passivity.
    Best regards, let's keep in touch.

  12. Concetta says:

    Buenos dias Adriana! Gosh, you are so right, its a rebellion against consumer society and passivity! I love making mosaics with stuff that would get thrown away (see my owl in the flickr photos – disused lightbulbs, a broekn old mirror, slate from my neighbours old roof and scrunched up newspaper to make it 3d (with a little bit of stained glass thrown in!) Will visit your blog in a moment, but regarding advice on mosaics in schools, would you email me and I'll do my best to give you some pointers. glitteringshardsatgmaildotcom

    lovely to make your online acquaintence! Concetta x

  13. jacqueline says:

    Your work is amazing and i really enjoy reading and see photos of your process and studio! I love your thoughts on today's post and thank you so much for sharing! This will be indeed my food for thoughts when i work at my little studio! Have a lovely merry happy day and love to yoU!

  14. Amelia says:

    very powerful quotes indeed and lovely inspirational musings 🙂


  15. Laura @ Ms Smartie Pants says:

    I have always said sometimes I just have to stop what I am doing and create. Your post helps me to understand why. Thank you for sharing such beautiful thoughts.

  16. francielle says:

    You are inspiring. Your work is so inspiring. How wonderful is the internet that these things can be shared….Best to you always.

  17. Concetta says:

    Thank you SO much francielle. Honoured, truly. x

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