May 17, 2008

Roycroft and Work and Play

So thank you all for following my little journey back in time with the art history this week. I hope it was interesting, I know I learned a lot! I think it was a little stretch to think about Arts and Crafts in the context of Steampunk, since it is usually more Victorian influenced, but I think it fits. I wanted to draw the parallels in my own mind at least, and I think I have.So just a little extra tidbit, that I found in my research this week. It is about the Roycroft guild of artisans. Roycroft has a fascinating history, with lots of great philosophy and beautiful items to lure me, but I cannot spend any more time studying it deeply for today. I do want to share a quotation from John Ruskin, which formed the Roycroft "creed":

"A belief in working with the head, hand and heart and mixing enough play with the work so that every task is pleasurable and makes for health and happiness"

This quote is something I have kept in my mind all week, specifically the part abut mixing play with work for health and happiness. I tend to drown myself in my work and studio, and it can be solitary, and I forget to play. It is a danger when you love what you do, but I DO need to mix in play and non-studio activities to stay healthy and sane. So this week I spent time away from the studio on personal time with friends, I spent time sharing my studio and work (a really new concept for me...working WITH someone else), and I spent time in the studio playing with non work things. Finding a balance is difficult, especially in this very busy time, but I am committed to working on it, and I think it will make my work better and make me a stronger person.

and for Chuck, Roycroft Printing Press eye candy above...


  1. Hi! This is excellent advice. I have a neurological condition I don't go out of my way to discuss, just like I don't go out of my way to bring up my arthritis and my fibromyalgia. However, I learned-well I taught myself this, way back, that I really needed to balance my thinking/thoughts with my physical body activity, and that only by keeping them in balance could I get the best out of both. I really think that is why we have brains, and that's why we have bodies! Yay for both of them!

    Now I had no idea you were writing all this all week. I look forward to coming back when I am not about to fall asleep and read everything you wrote! It really sounds very interesting! Thanks for doing it!

  2. I strive for balance in all that I do, but it is a tricky thing... I agree... when you love what you do. I very much want to have a balance in my life that supports my creativity. I know that in the very near future many things will have to change in order for me to honor that. We'll just see what all has to happen to restore the balance for me. Right now I'm getting worn ragged and it's not good for my fragile psyche.

  3. Jean,
    Yes I am learning this, about balance. In my own health interests, I have been on a quest lately to not only balance, but develop mind, body, and spirit.

    I have been trying to think more deeply, as part of the quest to develop of my mind, by working on my writing and critical thought skills, and the posts this week, I hope, reflect this. I hope you will go back and read so I can share with you.

  4. Andrew,
    We seem to be in a similiar state right about now. A little out of balance, in a place of imminent change and reflection. I wish you well on your journey.

    I look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks at the show to speak of these things in person (I am totally assuming you will be there...I hope so!)