I threw a clay pot.
Some people plan to throw pots their whole lives –along with vases, mugs, bowls, plates, candle holders, and miniatures. That’s what potters do.
I am not a potter. I doubt I would choose pottery as a profession because of one key personal trait.
I don’t enjoy getting dirty.
In fact, on the day my college friend agreed to teach me how to throw my first clay creation, I sought out pants and a shirt I didn’t care about getting splattered with mud. It was a difficult decision. (Obviously, this was well before God blessed me with boys when finding any article of clothing without a perma-stain would be akin to a miracle.) Still wondering what had possessed me to want to spend a Saturday purposefully creating laundry, yet smiling at my desire to move beyond my slightly obsessive-compulsive tendencies, I joined my friend and walked with her to the art department.
I did throw a pot that day–an awkward lopsided thing–about which most would try not to ask, “What is it?” My friend showed me how to label it, and we left it to be fired in the kiln.
I have no idea what happened to my poor piece of pottery after that.
But, I still have a ceramic coffee mug my friend made for me.
Which has led me to discover my favorite works of art. Although I can identify several paintings as familiar and maybe know them by name and artist, my favorite art is what has been created by family and friends.
- a blue ceramic inkwell made by one of my nieces.
- a watercolor of a lily and a poem by my oldest son when he was in elementary school.
- an embroidered wall hanging from my dad’s youngest sister as a thank you for the devotional he and I collaborated on last year.
- sweaters and poems by my maternal grandmother.
- the photography of one of my dearest friends depicting my family and gracing three of my book covers. (This particular friend and I exchange our poetry drafts for critique, and her creative personal gifts to me adorn my bookshelves–a plastic skull defaced with quotations from Hamlet, a hand-stitched owl with a note pinned to its back stating “Owl always thank God for you,” and a box title “Threads” containing spooled cloth with phrases from While Bethlehem Sleeps.)
- baby afghans crocheted by another college friend who incidentally married one of my and my husband’s high school friends. (No, we did not introduce them. They truly found each other.)
These are only a few of my treasures collected and cherished for their intrinsic value. These are the kinds of artworks I hope my sons will appreciate throughout their lifetimes. These are reminders of our ability to create because we are gifted by our own Creator.