It is wonderful to be back into throwing clay into pots again. I have been a potter much longer than I have been a priest.
My new studio is a fine space and being part of a coop of artists is pushing me into places I had not imagined. This lidded vase which I made for an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in New Hampshire is one of twelve such lidded vessels. This one is done in a deep purple glaze with breakthroughs of cornflower blue and the lid is topped with a quartz crystal. The piece stands about24 inches tall and is now in a private collection in California. It is of stoneware in an oxidation cone 6 kiln.
I love the way the fire in the kiln smooths out the glaze and turns it from the pasty, dull grey of the wet glaze to this stunning purple and blue. The clay goes through a lot in the kiln as do we in life. But like the clay, we can be very resilient and the effects of the hard times in life can make us into the object of Beauty which is God’s hope for our lives. I wonder if there were other ways to become beautiful. I know people who are beautiful and I know pottery which is beautiful and the thing they seem to have in common is enormous, death-defying, gut-wrenching pain. So bring it on. I want to be the beauty God has as a hope as the artist of my life – so long as the potter’s hands do not leave my clay.