Tuesday, March 13, 2012

God and Dirt

I love working in the dirt, it reminds me of the saying "life began in a garden."  Lots of folks tell me they feel close to God working in their gardens, me too.

If you really want to have a "God" experience - try pottery.

I'm serious (I have worked in a pottery studio). Most people have a vision of Demi Moore in the movie "Ghost"  all easy, sexy, and no sweat.  It's not like that.

Imagine God the potter.  God has an idea of the perfect bowl and so takes a bit of clay and slaps it on the wheel, wets his hands and as the clay starts to spin God pushes and presses trying to lift a simple bowl out of the clay. This takes a bit of work (lots of upper body strength) and lots of patience. The clay likes to jump around, tear, wobble and, in general, seems to have a mind of its own.

By the time God calls it a day - and says "That's it!" or "TA DA!" or whatever God pronounces when the bowl is shaped - there is still lots of work to be done.  The bowl is left to dry, cleaned up a bit and then low fired (approximately 1,800 F), then sanded, and - providing it has survived the drying, firing and sanding - glazed (painted).  After all that it is high fired (approximately 2,100 F and up) and left in the kiln to cool.

Important note here - while the bowl is high firing the potter is there, near the kiln at all times to keep check on the temperature.  I have yet to meet a potter that hasn't been singed by the heat in the kiln.

When the potter opens the kiln and takes out the bowl it will need to cool a bit more.  Word of warning - at any stage cracks can appear.

Finally, it is sanded to take off any rough edges, washed up, or at least dusted, and "TA DA" you have bowl.

My friend and former boss, Janet, (Hart Street Pottery) offers classes and sells pottery she makes.  (I'm not being compensated in any way - just dusting, and I got to thinking about dirt, dust, soil, and clay.)

Check out potters in your area - buying local is important to all of us - where ever you may be. 

Every now and then, like today while I've been dusting, I remember and am amazed by how much love, effort, time, blood, sweat, and tears goes into trying to create a 'simple' piece of pottery.




TexWisGirl said...

a beautiful post. a lot of sweat, tears (and dust) to make something beautiful. :)

Denise :) said...

I love the analogy that God draws between Himself and the potter (and rather purposefully, us and the clay vessel). Something about the thought that even when the wheel feels like it's spinning out of control, knowing His competent hands are holding on and shaping me through it all ... marvelous!! Great share, Joy! :)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love beautiful pottery and have a few nice pieces! They are works of art! ♥

Flora said...

Great post... I have always wanted to do pottery...maybe someday!