When I was pregnant with my first child I decided to take prenatal yoga. The instructor was such an amazing resource for the women in the class; she had a thick binder of all kinds of support information, referrals, and pregnancy services for women. At the beginning of every class we would go around and introduce ourselves, where we were in our pregnancies, and anything else that seemed relevant to share. She always had a special meditation for us related to birth at the end of the class, and she would also give updates from the women who had their babies and wanted to share their baby’s name and birth story.
I loved going to yoga every week for the special time I was taking to connect to my growing belly, as well as being able to connect with the other pregnant women.
Seven months after taking Reiki I, as I continued doing energy portraits and teaching meditative drawing, I became pregnant with my second child. I realized that I wanted to take a break from doing the energy portraits for individuals so that my energy could focus on my baby. However, I still wanted to teach others how to connect through art as I did in the meditative drawing classes. I remembered how special the time was when I was pregnant and taking yoga, so I created a class specifically for pregnant women and called it Pregnant with Creativity, hoping to foster the same kind of connection and support for women as they prepared for motherhood, but using art as the medium to do so. In addition to meditative drawing, I came up with other art projects for the class, and the ideas kept coming…
(I was pregnant with creativity after all…)
I liked the idea of having a belly cast, but wanted to create something that was more representative of the natural elements. For me, plaster just wasn’t cutting it..
Clay. That was it.
A bowl, a container, made of clay..the earth..the container that my child was growing into and would grow out of..
Several years earlier I spent a summer fascinated with outdoor kilns as a painting subject when I was at a summer art residency. The kiln to me was like a womb, a place of transformation as the clay changed states from the intense heat that glowed from the belly of the kiln and was then emptied, open, ready for the next firing.
I wanted my bowl to have a spiral form because it reminded me of the process of life, turning onto itself from the center out. It also reminded me of the umbilical cord that attaches mother to child. I wasn’t too far along to be able to make my own bowl just yet..but I did have some pregnant friends..and like the volunteers I asked when first doing the portraits, I was able to practice and make a few bowls before it was time to make my own.
Being pregnant drew out the creativity in me to fulfill a personal desire, which Plato would say came from a necessity..
I could say that the necessity was to figure out a way to make a cast that was not plaster and would not be something that I would hide or collect dust because I would not know what to do with it..
I believe that the deeper necessity I had was to connect..and that came from my mothering place.
I can thank the birth of my son for bringing about the birth of the belly bowl.