July/August 2022

From the Potter’s Hands

by Gale Fleming

Ceramics are hard, brittle, heat-resistant, and corrosion-resistant materials. They are made by shaping an inorganic, nonmetallic material, such as clay, and firing it at a high temperature. Common examples are earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain.

Pottery changed me in a way that allowed me to use a talent I didn’t know I had. I love to use clay that has been dug out of the earth and make something unique with just the skill of my hands.  But I cannot create this uniqueness alone; I need the power of fire. Pottery starts with clay and is irreversibly changed forever by fire. At around 1300 degrees Fahrenheit, clay becomes “pot” and can never go back to dirt… it has been transformed.

I worked with clay for over four decades, using my home studio and other local studios, and I have never made two pieces that were alike. My goal has been to make every piece unique.

This is the way God works in us. His refining fire takes our hearts of clay and transforms us into the people that He wants us to be. He sanctifies us and creates us into new people with new hearts and new desires, changing lumps of clay into individual and unique pieces of artwork.