>More Lessons from the Ceramics Studio

>I just love my ceramics class this quarter. I like to think that I’m not half bad at the wheel and I can’t see why I was terrified of throwing while I was in high school. It’s certainly an example of “Practice makes perfect,” and I’m happy to report that I’ve basically mastered centering the clay, which of course, is the most important step.

I discovered that it helps to sit on a slightly higher stool because the extra inch of elevation helps me better see if my clay is wobbling. In the same way, it’s much easier for God to center us because He is so much higher than we are.

It’s also a lot easier to center soft clay, and I’ve discovered that I much prefer working with reclaimed clay. This is clay that’s already been thrown before, but didn’t quite make the cut. I break it into pieces, water it down if it’s too bone-dry, spread it on a plaster board to dry a little, then throw, pummel, and wedge the heck out of it to get a soft, pliable clay. Some people don’t like using reclaimed clay because they don’t like wedging it to get the air bubbles out, so they just use the ready-made clay available for purchase. (Which I’m pretty sure is also reclaimed from the communal slop buckets, but it’s been pugged and processed so it’s bubble-free.) My problem with the prepared clay is that it’s just too darn hard, and it takes a lot longer and a lot more water to center.

I think you can guess where I’m going with this. The analogy isn’t perfect, because God didn’t make any “mistakes” with me, but I have certainly had the old me broken, thrown, pummeled, and wedged in the past few months, and I’ve been reclaimed. And now I’m ready to be reformed. For the first time in a long time I am reconciled to my body and to God. The Spirit of God is near and I am the closest to whole I have probably ever been. I still have some air bubbles that need to be popped, and I know that things will not always be this smooth, but I have faith in the Potter to make good use of me (Rom. 9:21).

Ezekiel 11:19
I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

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