Being a potter is wonderfully therapeutic. Your hands can’t go faster than the wheel is turning or what you make is going to have problems before you can wire it off. There has to be focus and fluidity of motion with an eye for what can be even when you can’t see it. It’s a wonder I don’t have a bent neck from leaning over constantly to watch the vessel’s profile as I’m pulling and shaping. You have to look beyond the reality and see the possibility, and dare to take a chance on a new throwing hunch or a shape.
I just bought a thousand pounds of clay to get me through my Christmas projects. I was down to a couple of hundred pounds. My favorite clay comes from a little hole-in-the-road place in North Carolina called “Loafer’s Glory.” What a great name! Any way “Loafer’s Glory” is the clay that I love to use. It’s a smooth-throwing stoneware with just enough grog and grit to experiment with as I try to throw larger 19th century forms. It feels good, looks good, glazes well, and fires beautifully.
Unfortunately I was only able to purchase 500 pounds of “Loafer’s Glory” and have had to supplement my supply with a similar B-mix grade clay. I wedged a sample of the “B-mix” to see how it compared to Loafer’s and it felt pretty good. I’m looking forward to trying it out. The switch got me thinking about us as God’s clay.
I picture God as trying to get something accomplished, but there’s not enough of us who want to oblige. Maybe that’s when God gives another clay a try. God likes to create and experiment with this spaceship called Earth, and wants the Good News of Jesus to change the whole cosmos. God needs clay like you and me to do it. Now I would prefer that God used “United Methodist” clay rather than “Baptist” or “Muslim,” but it’s all about supply.
It’s up to us more than God. Will it be “Loafer’s Glory” or “B-mix?” Part of me likes the name “Loafer’s Glory” a lot better than a name as generic as “B-mix,” but a tree is known by its fruit, not its name. God is more interested in the results than the brand, don’t you think?