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Collard Greens & Clay

This cold January day calls for a bit of extra coffee and patience. Patience quickly yields to an abrupt halt in my steps and then a deliberate focus on His wisdom.

Today was my first day back on the potter’s wheel for 2020. Excited to play with the wheel, customer orders to fill and always more on my list that I can accomplish. I am admitting a workaholic. I use to think that title was terrible. I would go even as far as saying it was a “bad” word. Saying that I love my work is a serious understatement. I am confident that I am working for my Lord and I am an excited to play my part in His master plan.

I wake up most every morning excited to see what the day will bring. Today I was ready only to quickly get the realization of patience and humbling in my art. The clay that was prepared last evening was stiff. Even though I know better, I chose to work with the clay only to hit a level of frustration when the clay would not do as I instructed.  

I have made thousands of pots and have taught hundreds of lessons.  I have cried so many tears learning this art. All with a deeper understanding that I am the clay and He is the true potter. With the stiff clay on the wheel I pressed on only to fail. I needed a fresh perspective.  The settling of wisdom came.  It was sincere and pure. I am keenly aware that there is always something new to learn.  I recouped my frustration, realized my mistakes, took the wisdom and then walked away.

I cleaned my hands and went to warm up the collard greens I brought for lunch. I made a fresh pot of coffee and sat down.

I stared at that 3 pots that were causing me issues. I allowed myself to refocus on the art of the creation, took a few deep breaths, enjoyed my lunch, and rested my hands. All while hoping that tonight’s karate lesson would not involve any wrist work.  I knew I would begin again and that I will be mindful of how this break may or may not change today’s pottery outcome.

After about 30 minutes, I began again. So what happened after my break?  I’d love to say I nailed it but sadly that was not the case. After cleaning up after lunch, I entered back into the studio only to see one pot on the floor and the other with a huge stress crack! Oh my goodness. I revisited the pot on the wheel and after many attempts at finishing this struggling 11″ crock it finally gave way to my skill. Or so I thought… It looked almost perfect and then it didn’t. It collapsed. I even went as far as to try a fourth pot. This one met its demise when I smashed it with my hand.

What!

So was today a good day of throwing? Well my immediate answer would be softly spoken “no” however, the answer is deeper than a simple close-ended statement. Production wise today sucked. Lesson wise today rocked.

I did not meet my production goal but, I was reminded of the humbleness I try to maintain in my studio and my work. An acquaintance of mine once told me that I should not use the word “humble” when I write.  They felt is showed meekness or weakness when used to often.  I disagree. I am always humbled my craft and by the work being done at my studio. I am humbled knowing that I must always try to do my best.  I believe the more humble I can be, the more I will rely on His direction and wisdom. I am grateful for today and even for the clay in my hair.

Clay in my hair 🙂

James 3:17, (NLT) But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.



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