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Jaymi's experience with the Unusual presence of God

FNERs having fun
FNERs having fun

Times I know when God has had his hand in what I was creating.

As a clay artist, you know that God is with you because he has provided the earth that you are manipulating with your hands.  I have had several times where I know that God guided my hands.  There was also one piece that the spirit of the piece just was not happy.   I’ll tell that story first then tell you about my funky creatures.

I have made porcelain angels for ages and their wings have always been very beautiful and fragile. One day it was late, but I finished an angel and put it on the shelf to dry.  The next morning I came in the studio and the angel was on the floor.  The only thing that was broken was the wings.  So I picked her back up added wings and set her on the shelf making sure this time that she was not near the edge.

Painted angels
Painted angels

The next morning there she was on the floor again, and again only her wings were broken.  I set her on the shelf and I said “OK you don’t want to be an angel.  When you decide what you want to be just let me know?”  She is not on the shelf anymore so I don’t know where she went, but I hope she is finally happy.

I have always known that God is with me because he blessed me with talent to create art.  It is his talent that flows through my hands I do not take credit for it.

Mountain Laurel sculpture
Mountain Laurel sculpture

Fifteen years ago I had a large order of Mountain Laurel flower sculptures to make and I just was not in the mood.  I just set squeezing the clay between my fingers.  Pretty soon I started seeing these crazy creatures starting to evolve.  They made me laugh and I was no longer working I was having fun.  I named them “For No Reason” or Fners for short.  I put a pretty high price on them in the gallery I was then director of because I figured no one would buy them, so they were just there for the laughs.

Billy Pig talking to ant.
Billy Pig talking to ant.

Two weeks later 9/11 happened and a great sadness hung over all of us.  Within a month people started coming in the gallery and my Fners were walking out the door in great numbers.  I started asking people why are you purchasing them and the answer was, “I have been so depressed that I just need something in my life to make me smile again.”  Then I knew God had known what was going to happen and that people would need something to pick their spirits back up.  He provided it through my hands.

That was fifteen years ago and when I realized that I wanted to write a story about Fners that it has been years since I have made them.  Last week I started making them, again and again, my spirits just began to jump with joy.  That is when I realized that I had been down in spirit because arthritis in my hands is making it harder for me to sculpt.  Now I am back in the studio having a great time playing in the clay.  I'm already planning my next story about how my Spirit Homes came into being.

 

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It's been such a hot summer!  So I've been spending most of my time in my cramped (but air conditioned) studio space which at least gives me some comfort while working on my clay projects.  My latest efforts have been focused on trying to recreate a small container that I made recently.  The first piece cracked along a seam after a glaze firing.  I was so disappointed because I enjoyed making it and the glaze turned out lovely.  Since I had already drawn out templates for thIMG_3252IMG_3340e first one, it was easy to duplicate. See the image on the far left  of the first one....bummer, and then the green ware on the right before first kiln firing.  Hopefully this one will work out.

I also enjoy making small ceramic pendant necklaces.  A friend who was visiting recently was wearing one.   It looked lovely and she suggested that I give it a try.  So I began experimenting with different shapes and textures.  After the kiln firing, I have to decide what glazes or combination of glazes would look pretty.  Then once I have the glazed piece in my hand, I select the color for the leather cord--to give it a more "bohemian" look.  I purchase the beads from a local bead shop which has a rich selection of gemstones, bone, hand painted beads and lamp-work beads that would complement the style.  I've been pleased with the results so far.  You can check out my pendants at www.etsy.com/shop/PotterybyNoell

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Another ongoing project which nags at me is a summer knitted top that I was hoping to finish before the end of summer. That's never going to happen.  It's a beautiful yarn which changes in texture and size, so it's tricky to knit.  You really have to pay attention and not be distracted, because it's easy to drop a stitch.  Here's a picture of the pattern below left and what I have completed so far on the right.  As you caIMG_3348n see, I have a long way to go.

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My potter friends are also knitters--sometimes we take a break from the clay and spend the afternoon knitting.  It's less messy.  There was a time (years ago), if someone had asked me if I was a knitter, I would reply "No way, it looks boring and I don't have the patience to sit and knit"  Well, I've had a change of heart since then.  I find it to be relaxing (most of the time) and rewarding. I guess pottery and knitting has somehow mellowed my former corporate Type A behavior.