How Learning Ceramics Helped This Designer Survive Her Morning Sickness
Szeki Chan, the Brooklyn-based clothing designer behind the laid-back, drapey linen and wool looks of 7115 by Szeki, always has plenty of creative work on her plate. But while she was expecting her first son, Cody, she found herself looking for a new meditative hobby to help distract her from her intense morning sickness. She ended up in her local ceramics studio and instantly became hooked—she even bought herself a wheel so she could throw at home every morning. Now, over one hundred mugs, dishes, and plates later, she’s here to share how the experience turned her into a firm believer in the art of slowing down—especially while pregnant.
“The more I did ceramics when I was pregnant, the more obsessed I became with it. Every morning I would wake up and I’d feel pretty sick, but then I’d start my ceramics and it would just go away. I think it was because I had something to look forward to every morning that could distract me from my symptoms. So then I got really good at it because I would do it from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. every morning and just became really immersed in it.”
“What was really great about ceramics is it’s was something I actually used to do as a kid, so I had some muscle memory of it. So if you’re looking for a hobby for when you’re pregnant, I think doing something you used to do as a kid is a great option. While you’re feeling maternal, I think you can really connect with younger versions yourself, and that’s part of the reason doing a craft then can be so powerful, or at least it was for me. I would just think about how I would do this as a child, and it just made it that much more rewarding. And you can feel that way even if you’re not pregnant!”
“One thing I heard that other people do is gardening. If you don’t have a backyard, you can get really into plants indoors and pot things and take care of them. It’s also really soothing, and seeing leafy, green things grow just makes you happy and puts you in a good mood. You can really put in as much time as you want or as little, so I think that would be a really good thing to pick up.”
“A lot of people start knitting, too—that’s what my mother did when she was pregnant. You can then make a bunch of little things for the baby and have them ready before they’re born. It also doesn’t cost a lot since your making smaller clothes, and it’s something you can bring with you on the way to work.”
“Also, beading! Beading is great. In my early jeweler days, I took a class, and half the students were pregnant. It’s also extremely soothing. Just don’t do anything with smells! I used to make candles a lot, but I couldn’t do it during my pregnancy because the scents just made me want to vomit.”