Monday, June 27, 2011

A Simple Clay Pot


The Denver Art Museum is a work of art in itself. It resembles a large inverted triangle. The beauty is amazing to say the least.  I love the creativity just in the building alone, not to mention inside.
Inside are a myriad of paintings and exhibits, seven floors in all.  We were deciding where to start when I noticed right a glassed-in area to the left of the front door. It was a pottery studio. Inside many different people, children and adults, were making coil pots. Several were throwing pots on the wheel. 
My first thought was this was a class of some sort but upon reading the sign on the door, I realized it was a hands-on experience open to anyone.  Opening the door and I was immediately hit with the smell of moist earth, almost like the smell of a garden after it has been watered.
The tender creation of a simple, clay pot.
Clay-covered aprons adorned those inside. We weren’t acknowledged as everyone was busy creating or helping others create.
It was quiet with the hum of activity, productivity, enjoyment.
At the wheel, we watched for awhile before finding someone who seemed to work there.
“What do we need to do to throw a pot?”
“Put on an apron,” a young man replied, “And let Carol know you want to take a turn. There’s probably a waiting list.”
My daughter and I did as he suggested. Carol said we’d be next.
There were about five places at the wheel and soon two spots came available. I sat down in anticipation.  In all my 57 years, I had never sat down at a potter’s wheel.  I can’t explain the desire to do this, but it’s always been there.
Carol got the wheel started at the right speed and put the lump of clay in the middle.  A formless lump.  She made a small indention in the top.  Then instructed me get my hands wet, press down in the middle until the indention was about two inches from the bottom and then pull back to begin making the wall of the pot.
The clay was wet and soft, as it slipped seamlessly through my hands. There is a calm feelings associated with working on the potter’s wheel.
Then Carol showed me how to set my hands just right to begin to build the walls of the bowl or cup that this particular piece would become. The pot seemed to take on a life of its own as if it always knew what it would become.
Sometimes my hands are not as steady as I’d like so I did not know if I could do this. But I did.  Others were finding it difficult to keep the pot from becoming lopsided.  It does take patience to the pot between your hands while applying pressure to the walls to keep them even.  My pot seemed to be crying out to become a vase. 
In that moment, I felt it. The pure satisfaction of working with the earth, dirt, water, with the fire of creativity burning in my gut.  I was hooked. All too soon we were done and it was time for the next person. 
As I washed my hands in the deep metal sink and felt the clay, basically just mud, slip away down the drain.  It was a moment of sadness actually. 
It was only a few moments out of our trip to Colorado where we went up the Cog Railway to the top of Pike’s Peak, went indoor skydiving, saw beautiful mountaintops and mountain creeks, experienced my nephew’s sunrise wedding service in an open-air chapel on the mountainside at the top of Estes Park.  But this was my moment. 
That moment I was creator.  I wonder, did God feel a little like this when he took a handful of dirt and formed mankind? Well, maybe I’m going a little too far.  Being alive for me, though, has something to do with creating whether it is a story, a publication, a brochure, a painting, an aha moment for another person. It can come in lots of forms.
I believe that spark of the Creator exists in all of us in one way or another.  I found it in a simple, clay pot.

The Prompt:  Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. If we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

When did you feel most alive recently? Where were you? What did you smell? What sights and sounds did you experience? Capture that moment on paper and recall that feeling. Then, when it’s time to create something, read your own words to reclaim a sense of being to motivate you to complete a task at hand.  (Author: Sam Davidson)

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely wonderful! Pikes Peak area is gorgeous...when we connect to the earth, we connect to all. I love your post. Thank you!

    Peace, Nico

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