Renewing Self Esteem Through Children’s Books – Karen Hahn from House of the Rising Star Art

Introducing Karen, children’s book author and pottery maker. Karen’s passion for writing children’s books was birthed out of her own personal hardships and struggles with self esteem. 

Here she is to explain more:

“Kids are being bombarded with confusing messages and becoming alienated more and more through social media and television. 

Bullies can come from all directions both in school and through faceless posts on social media. A child’s basic question of “Who am I?” might seem unanswerable. Children need to hear the message that they are capable, lovable, special and unique.

I had suffered from depression and low self esteem all my life. In addition to the trauma of being raised in an alcoholic and abusive environment, my 5th grade nun once beat me with a yard stick while telling me that I was no good, my family was no good and that I would never amount to anything. All of this in front of my class because I couldn’t do a math problem. 

Those words were implanted deep into my psyche and I realized that I had been treating myself in a way that I would never treat another person. 

I wrote “Millicent and the Faraway Moon”, almost as a letter to myself. I want other kids to know that they are special in God’s eyes, that they were created for greatness and not to listen to bullies.”

Karen applies these healing methods of self reflection on her time spent working on pottery. Here she explains more:

Making pottery is a long, slow, process. From throwing an item on the wheel, it’s a waiting game until it dries a bit. Usually a day. Trimming the bottom, adding handles or embellishments, decorating, or carving as I do can take 2-3 hours per pice. 

All pieces must be fired at least twice and 
that is 9-12 hours each time. Add a couple more hours for painting and glazing …..again, a long process. You don’t pottery to make a lot of money. It’s impossible to unless your work is automated rather than hand made. You make pottery for the love of 
the craft. 

I began making pottery when my daughter was leaving for college. The timing was perfect because it taught me what I needed the most at that time-to let go. 

At no time in the pottery process should you become attached to a piece until it comes out of its last firing. There are too many disasters that can happen along the way. I have spent the bulk of my professional artistic life as a painter, first in oils and then in acrylics. That process is so different from pottery since I could begin a painting and leave it at any stage and return to it at my leisure. Pottery is a world away from that. 

I tell people that its like having small children-you can’t leave it alone too long or bad things happen. You can’t rush pottery. If you’re patient, thoughtful and careful, things 
usually turn out well. 

I used to be very impatient and sort of demanding that things go my way. Making pottery has taught me that life is not always like that and it’s better to just let go and see what shakes out.

Please shop to support Karen at House of the Rising Star Art visit: https://www.karenolonehahn.com/

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