Sanity Studios was set up in early 2019 to help me, Isobel, keep my sanity. Initially, the studio was set up for me to create my own studio ceramics for sale. Unsurprisingly it gets pretty lonely pottering around a studio on your own full time so I began offering lessons and haven't looked back since!
As the studio was created when my anxiety was at an all-time high, it's been curated into a comfortable and relaxing space to create. It's important to me that everyone who comes through the studio, whether for a one-off go or to start a new hobby feels relaxed and comfortable. As the studio is in my home there's always tea and biscuits on offer.
In 2016, I started practising pottery as a hobby to help me manage my worsening mental health. I'd been suffering from severe depression and anxiety for several years and, the mounting pressure from my job as a mortgage broker, led to it all coming to a head on June 6th 2016, when I had my first breakdown.
One of the things about my anxiety which I found absolutely exhausting, was the constant barrage of thoughts running through my head. No matter what medication my doctor prescribed me or the therapies I was taking, seemingly nothing could slow down my thoughts.
I picked up pottery by chance when my partner walked past Simon's Pottery and suggested I give it a go to try and get out the house more.
As soon as I got my hands on the clay my mind went quiet for the first time in almost a decade. Needless to say, I couldn't wait for my next session! That summer I had several lessons a week and spent the rest of my time relentlessly hunting for a reasonably priced pottery wheel to call my own.
It was 18 months before I felt ready to return to Financial Services full time. In the hope of finding greener pastures, I ended up leaving my job as a mortgage broker and began working as a tax and estate planner for a local firm. I could work from home, manage my own client base and most importantly manage my own time. Perfect right? Well, as it turns out, not so perfect. Unsurprisingly dealing with other peoples finances, doesn't ever become any less stressful. The only thing I'd changed was that instead of helping people buy houses, I was helping them plan for their death. Not the brightest subject for someone coming out of a depressive episode.
I'd planned to start Sanity studios at the start of 2018, while working full time in my new role. It soon became clear that this was not possible. As I had in my previous role, I began to obsess over my ever-increasing targets and could feel my anxiety starting to come back with a vengeance.
I'd like to say that I realised of my own accord that i'd slipped back into old, unhealthy habits but, really it was the universe that insisted on me leaving the world of finance for good; When my nan died, and I got fired (four days after disclosing I had depression, with no prior warnings. Yes, really, that still happens) all on the same day.
It was then that I decided to really give this whole struggling artist life a chance. I still have bad days. To be honest, I still have more bad day's than good ones, but, they just don't seem as bad when I have a ball of clay between my fingers and a podcast chattering away in the background.
Thorin is my lovely little kitty cat! She will no doubt pop in to visit you while you're having your pottery class. Thorin loves meeting new people and very much feels like the studio is her space to play. She'll climb up onto the shelves to say hello and once you've been a few times, she'll even start sitting on your lap!
Roo is my little cavapoo (sort of); she's my best friend and while not the most productive studio assistant, is absolutely the cutest. She'll be here, keeping you company during your pottery lesson as well as giving her stamp of approval on any pet products you order.