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? ‘



Tales by Chapter

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