The Potter

‘Why is a potter second only to God?’

The boys shook their heads in unison and Iskander explained, ‘Because God created everything out of earth, air, fire and water, and these are the very same things that a potter uses to make his vessels. When a potter makes something, he acts in the image of God.’

‘Are you more important than the Sultan Padishah then?’ asked Mehmetcik, astonished.

‘Not on earth,’ replied Iskander, ‘but perhaps in Paradise.’

–          By Louis de Bernieres from Birds Without Wings

I sculpted my clay into a woman.  She dried in the air before being baked in the kiln’s fire.  Pleased she emerged intact, Michelle, my teacher and I discussed many, many options for the finishing touch – color.

Michelle guided me towards some tried and true glazes, encouraging me to keep it simple.  I choose only two colors.  I poured Fire Opal, a pinkish/blue over her headdress and powdered her face white.  Having prepared my creation the best I could, I let go.  My woman faced the fire alone.

As I walked into the studio, I was anxious to see how she managed when mixed with the other creations and put under pressure.

To summarize, she fared poorly.

Under the combination of the elements, she cracked.  My intended colors did not stick.  The vibrant pinks and blues melted away.  Their residue burnt her surface and scorched it brown.  Although she retained her original shape, she did not turn out at all like the woman I imagined.

And then I wondered, ‘If God is a potter, how disappointed does he feel when looking down at the earth? ‘


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. LmbK
    May 18, 2012 @ 11:59:19

    Oooohhhh….ouch! Did she even have a name, poor woman? If I were the God, I surely would weep but some things are ‘nature’, not ‘nurture’, so it cannot all be controlled. (Although on a potter’s technical note: I would say your glaze was not well mixed and not applied thickly enough.) As the Good Lord surely said, “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” Think of all you learned in the process. A good lesson in letting your “creations” go their own way!


  2. LmbK
    May 18, 2012 @ 12:01:35

    p.s. I’m off to glaze some pieces myself tonight – wish me luck!


  3. ssforth
    May 21, 2012 @ 04:40:27

    Au contraire, Eva: She’s beautiful. She has the patina of experience that we all wear. Love her the way God loves us.


    • Eva the Dragon
      May 21, 2012 @ 07:29:36

      Well thank you but she is supposed to be a young girl just beginning her life. The inspiration was an old Cartier photo from the 1960s.

      The young woman was decked out in hundreds of thousands of dollars of diamonds, ready to be married. She looked very hesitant, a kind of trophy being given away.

      I envisioned the statue as young and bright woman with clear skin. It would be the day when she would look her most beautiful. But things don’t always turn out as we imagine.

      I have been given many ideas how to “fix” her. I will see what happens.


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