There is a verse in the Bible that talks about God being the potter and his creations being the clay. I always loved the analogy. I got the message that He was trying to mold us to be what we needed to be. It made me feel special because he molds me different then he molds other people. Each one of us is unique.
Then I became a potter. I had the opportunity to play with the clay, to make the clay do what I wanted it to do. Sometimes I got the clay to do what I wanted and sometimes I didn’t. The more I worked with the clay, the more I got the clay to act in a certain way. It took a lot of practice to get it to do what I wanted to do. But eventually the clay and I worked as one.
I have made a lot of kinds of pots. I have made mugs, bowls, platters, face masks, gargoyles, rattles, coaster, Incense burners, and pinch pots. Two of my more favorite things to make, though are native american vases including wedding vases and Face Jugs. The face jugs take a lot of practice. It requires layering of clay on clay. I don’t know how many times I have had parts of the face on the jug pop off during firing. It makes it hard to get a good pot. Over the course of time those pieces didn’t pop off nearly as frequently.
My Native American pots are often decorated with leather and feathers or rabbit fur. They look authentic because they are. I remember taking a class where some of my pots were being critiqued by another student. He stated he liked those pieces. When asked by the instructor why he liked them, the student stated it was because of the decorations. The point was that I had actually gone and bought the feathers and leather straps. I also had made the beads that I used to decorate the pots. All of this was done before I made the pot. In other words, I knew what I was going to do before I started making the pots. This was something the instructor had been trying to get his newer students to understand and they finally got it during the final exam. That was kind of sad.