Throwing clay, or hand building with clay, is really something that deserves a little more respect than what is generally given it. The clay that is being worked is as ancient as one can imagine. Clay was once strong mighty boulders, crushed and ground down by the mighty hands of time in the form of ice or water, deposited in streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps, to sit for millennia. It has been waiting to be dug up and fashioned by human hands. As the clay is taken, conditioned and formed it becomes something that took thousands of years to come to fruition. Are you amazed yet?
It is worth considering that when you sip out of a ceramic mug, or bake in your favorite casserole, you are touching time itself.
Now, of course this is only one stop in the incarnation of the clay particles that have been formed. Unfortunately, the piece of art in your hands will have a bad day. Yes, it will be dropped and crash to the ground. It will be appropriate to cry as you grievously miss your favorite piece of ceramic art. However, do not cry for its life is not over. It is just beginning to start the journey all over again of being in solid form, to encountering ice and water, to wearing down and washing away into a stream, river, lake, pond and swamp to sit for millennia and wait to be dug up again.
Hard to imagine that ceramic art is just brief moment in time for each particle of clay stuck together. Even the most ancient pieces of pottery that humanity has created are being broken down slowly and eventually return to the earth. But for this moment, enjoy, appreciate, use and give thanks for the presence of someone’s artwork in your life.