The Power to Create
Words and interview: Jasmine Parrotta
Images: Courtesy of Yucca Stone
Feature artist: Jennifer Redmond
We live in a highly digitalised world where we’re connected more than ever to others, yet less than ever to ourselves. Nowadays many of us are struggling with anxiety and other heightened feelings and emotions due to being in front of a screen and not being able to switch off. Now is the time to make the time for thing things that make you want to jump out of bed, that make you forget to check your phone, that make you smile, move your body, create something, whatever it is, make it a priority.
Jennifer is someone who has found her thing and made it her life. It wasn’t an easy find however, it took many years of trying different things like running, yoga, cooking and painting but nothing gave her that fire in her belly, that take on the world feeling, until she found clay.
Jennifer says ‘It’s that Saturday morning coffee on the beach and it’s that road trip to the desert with the windows down and the music blasting. It’s me, at my core.’
Clay is inclusive and accessible to any age and level; it can be inexpensive if you buy materials and work from home as well as many opportunities to advance and use machines and tools at studios.
What do you love so much about ceramics?
What I love so much about ceramics is that it keeps me grounded.
How does clay help you?
In the past, I’ve struggled with anxiety, low self-confidence, and isolation. To be completely honest, I still struggle with it. I can easily get overwhelmed and worked up, and ceramics has really helped me with this.
You have to be incredibly present when practicing ceramics. It commands that from you, especially when you are throwing on the wheel.
When it feels like the world is falling apart around you, it’s incredibly therapeutic to just put your phone down, disconnect and create. There’s no pressure, no one is judging you. It’s just you and your wheel and you have the power to create whatever it is that you want at that moment.
And the best part is that anyone can do it. You don’t have to be athletic, or creative, or a certain age. It’s like riding a bike. It’s a skill that can be taught, learned and practiced, and that, I think is one of the things I love the most about it. It’s inclusive, which especially in this day and age is so important.
Can you tell me about your business?
Stone Studio is a community pottery studio located in the heart of Cabarita Beach, offering workshops, classes, and studio access for those of any skill level looking to learn, create and connect.
My husband and I have worked in retail, marketing, and brand management for most of our lives, and at the start of this year we reassessed what was important to us and we decided that we wanted to start a business that had a positive impact on not only our local community but also the planet.
The idea behind the studio is to not only create a space that fuels innovation but to build a community that inspires, supports and empowers one another to be the best version of themselves.
We are also committed to creating a better, more sustainable future. We have joined 1% for the Planet, which is an international organisation whose members contribute at least one percent of their annual sales to non-profit groups working on the front lines of environmental preservation around the world.
Any advice for university students?
In this current day it’s so important to take care of yourself, not just physically but mentally. Eat well, meditate, go for a walk, take time to check in with yourself to keep anxiety at bay. Do activates that ground you, calm you down and give you the ability to address what you might be going through.