Because there is much that can and does go wrong when working with clay, I am finding it an essential practice to balance my time on the wheel with time outside, soaking in nature. Whether it's meandering through the woods, watching the sky, or walking along the coast, outdoor play fills me up with new ideas and inspirations and, perhaps more importantly, helps me breathe through the disappointments. I learned awhile ago that there is a word for this in Japanese: shinrin yoku which translated means 'forest bathing.' It carries with it the idea that spending time in the natural world is as de-stressing as a hot bath at the end of a long day.
With the pressure to produce, some external, but most of it internal, I am often tempted to spend every spare moment in the studio, but I am learning this is not a very sustainable pace. It is far more nourishing to me to balance the creative energy I'm expending with time spent renewing it.