I've noticed this phenomena in the past occasionally when working on a new skill such as knitting or driving. Taking a break (not too long, not too short) from practicing my new skill can mean I return to my practice to find I have dramatically improved. (Sadly there are many more examples of the opposite effect, and my outdated website is the most obvious example. I knew how to update it once but I can't remember any of it now which is why it languishes in mid-2005).
This week the lucky skill is papier mache. Loyal readers will remember that back in March I took a few classes in papier mache and had so much fun that I launched into about 10 simultaneous papier mache projects. Unsurprisingly my combined inexperience and ambition led to the production of a number of disappointingly lumpy, warped and otherwise less than polished pieces. (Some of them were ok and I gave all those away before taking photos of them so you will just have to take my word for it).
Then I decided to move across country and found myself spending a month of my life in a very tiny room with no chance to unpack my paper and paste and make a mess. Now I have space and light and solitude to create and my new papier mache projects are coming along with thrillingly smoothness.
Except for the bowl (destined to be a Fruit Bowl of Equanimity) I started to cast onto a balloon mould. Frustratingly the paper just wouldn't sit flat so I left it for a while to dry before applying more layers and when I came back it looked exactly like a crumpled shower cap and the balloon had shrunk to the size of a mouse. Lesson: make sure there are no holes in the balloon before beginning papier mache project.