Monday, January 24, 2011

Pottery Putterings

Hello world!

I have not posted much on here in the last several months in regards to pottery. I believe the last thing I posted was that we had just installed a new wheel in our studio. The past several months have been a dance of two partners: joy and frustration.

I have been overjoyed at the proximity of creating with clay. It is amazing to be able to go out to our front porch and spend time creating with clay. I have a whole list of different shapes I want to develop and have been able to make several of them 'successfully.' For me, success is usually not measured only by having a finished product. For me, success is when I have fun, work peacefully, know when to take breaks and learn from the experience. Some of the pieces I have been working on have been: 'French' butter dishes aka butterbells, a pinch pot (to left), a bowl with a handle, a garlic jar (below right) and a honey jar. See pictures for some of the unfired pieces. We are hoping to do a firing in early February.

The frustration has come from a 'handful' of things. I am still having difficulties with my wrists and hands. This definitely affects my ability to throw pottery. So far I have been taking it very easy and throwing only small pieces every once and a while. I go see a specialist tomorrow and hope to get some answers and direction. It has also been frustrating balancing family, work and pottery. Also, the fact that it is winter has been challenging as well.

Overall, it is really wonderful to have the ability to create. The studio is very much a shared space and I am excited for the possibilities that this space holds. I will be posting soon to let you know how the first firing goes. We are going to be mixing on our glazes from the raw ingredients and I will let you know how that goes as well.

Some of the books I have been looking at for inspiration and learning are: Val Cushing's Handbook, The Potter's Manual by Kenneth Clark, and Wheel-Thrown Pottery by Bill Van Gilder.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A New Year's Homily

Every 2 weeks I lead a service at Sholom Home where I work. For the last one I posted the homily that I did for the Christmas service. I have since decided I might as well post each homily that I deliver to encourage, provoke thought and just to have some consistent to share on here.
Who knows, I may even try to do something like a podcast some day. But for now, here is the New Year's homily. Enjoy. Be blessed.

The texts, which I encourage you to read are: Jeremiah 31:7-14, Psalm 147:12-20, Ephesians 1:3-14 and John 1:10-18.

"These Scriptures reveal God's heart for us, his children. They reveal his abundant goodness. Jeremiah speaks of a time when God will gather all his children and they will gorge on his lavish gifts. Paul says it was Father's pleasure to bless us with all spiritual blessings and to adopt us. John proclaims a God who is so good and loving that he becomes one of us and through him we have all received one gift replacing another.


God is abundantly good. He is the perfect Father giving every good and perfect gift. I believe gifts are intended to be received. I believe this year God wants us to receive his lavish gifts. We need to focus on being his children and receiving his love rather than doing better or making resolutions to try harder. Paul says 'he chose us in Christ before the world was made' and that adopting us was 'his good pleasure.' We do not earn his love. We receive it freely.

Father, you are abudantly good. Help us receive your good gifts this new year. Amen.