“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. “ Jeremiah 18:1-4
As an artist I have worked in every mediums over the years. I started working with clay in college. I attended school at the University of Southern Colorado. It has been renamed to Colorado State University – Pueblo. As an art major I was required to take several courses in sculpture and pottery. I took to the clay very fast. I spent most of my childhood working with modeling clay and Play Dough. I was up for the new challenge.
The process of working with clay contain so many spiritual revelations that apply to our process in life as Christians.
1. Preparing the clay for use
2. Modeling the clay into form
3. Preserving it for more modeling
4. Carving out detail and finishing the design
5.Drying it out
6. Putting it in the fire
7. The finished work
1.Preparing the Clay For Use
Red clay is my favorite clay to sculpt with. It is easy to mold. My professor kept a big bin of red clay in the studio. The lid was kept on it at all times to keep the clay fresh. He occasionally poured water into it until it was time to use it. The clay was taken from the bin and prepared for use. It was important to knead the clay to make sure all the air was out of it so it would not crack when it was fired.
This is so symbolical of God keeping most of in a still in place until he is ready to use us for his purpose. We are kept wet with the water of his spirit. We are taken out of consecration by God when he is ready to use us . We are knead, sometimes pulled, and stretched to see what we can become.The air/pride is removed from us so we can be used to love his children. God makes sure when we go through the fires of life we will not burst and break. We are prepared to withstand what is to come.
2. Modeling the clay into form
After the clay has been knead you began forming the piece. The clay has to be worked in to form. The molding process is done by adding extra clay and blending into the full form. If the piece stand up you have to secure the base and make sure the weight will hold when it begins to gain height. You have to keep your hands wet to make sure the clay does not start drying out. It is wise it keep water near by.
When God is molding us he forms us into the image of who he want us to be. He is adding to us at all times in our lives. He provides us with all that we need to be formed into vessels. God secure our base and foundation in our salvation with Jesus. As we grow in him his Holy Spirit bring back to us the things we need to know to mature in Christ. God hands are wet sometimes with our tears. God hands are wet with the water of the Holy Spirit to keep us flexible in growing in him. He keep his anointing near be.
3.Preserving it for more modeling
Normally it takes me several day to a week to finish a sculpture piece. It order to preserve the clay from drying out you have to make sure it is properly insulated at the end of the day. Take wet paper towel and cover the whole piece. Layer the paper clay with as many wet paper towels so that you keep the clay moist. You take a plastic bag covering the whole piece. It is necessary to make sure there are no hidden holes in the bag where air can get in. Make sure the bag is securely tighten and closed around the piece where no air can get in. It is very critical that the piece is airtight and the towels stay very wet.
It is so symbolic that we are kept saturated with God’s word. The paper towels are symbolic of the word of God. The water on the towels represent the Holy Spirit helping us to understand the word in the process of life. The word and the spirit together preserves us. The plastic on the piece keeps the wet towels from dying out. Even in the process of being molded by God we are kept from things that can interfere with the call and anointing of God in our lives to be who he has called us. Sometimes friends are removed from your life. Sometime people are kept out of the inside circle of your life so you don’t get distracted or fight battles that are not your. There are times I feel this way. It is not that I think I am “special” ,but creating paintings, art, music, writing books, animation, designs, and films, require a certain level of focus and isolation. I am in a productive period of my life at the age of 48. I have things I need to say in a new voice. I understand now that it was to help me stay focus, preserved, and flexible for God’s molding.I am a work in progress.
4. Carving out the details and finishing the design
The stage of molding the clay creates the design of the piece. It has already began taking form. At this point the details help define the piece. The layering of design , clay, and carving into the clay give it a distinction. The clay becomes a finish piece of work as you labor on the details.
God carves into us at this stage his perfect will, who we are ,and our destiny is made clear in the process of detailing in our lives. The jobs, family, ministry, and gifting become our destiny. We are the Master’s fine workmanship. God invested time in each season of our lives begins to take shape. Our purpose in the earth become clear as we are molding by his hands on our life.
5.Drying it out
The clay is left to the open air to dry. It is expose to the atmosphere. It is test as this stage. If anything goes wrong it is broken up into very small piece and put back into the large clay bin with water to become basic clay again. The piece has to be recreated starting from scratch all over again. Any flaws in the piece are permanent. If there is any air hidden the piece it will crack. The process will start all over gain. If the piece dries in the manner it should it is preserve at this stage as a work of art. It still has to be put in the fire to become a finished piece. It is the last test of the clay to endure the fires.
There are times in our life as we are in the final stages of fulfilling our purpose and becoming who God want us to be. We are exposed for all the world to see. We are no longer just being molded by God, but preserve for great destiny. We are shelved at times waiting for the right time for world, churches, family, and organization to utilized the best that we are becoming. We are still fragile,but on the way to completion. We re vulnerable,but becoming strong and solid every day. We are in the final stages of becoming the Master’s work of art.
6. Putting the clay in the fire.
To make sure the clay is permanent it has to be fired in a kiln. There are many different way that clay can be fired. The outcome is still the same in all the firing processes. The goal is to ensure the piece is it in a solid from by firing it. It may be fired many times if needed . The the clays is purified and perfected by the fire.It a long process. The clay becomes a solid stable work of art in the final firing. Glazes came by added during re-firing process.
In our lives there are times we go through the fires of life to be purified. The fires in our lives test our ability to withstand the things we go through. We are taught to preserves. All impurity, sins, and infractions are burned from our lives. We will survive the fire of life and come out strong. It make us who we are as we pass through the fires. Our character is formed by the process. Who we are is a new revelation even to us when we come out of the fire. The fire of the Holy Spirit also bring us forth a new in Christ. We are glazed with his glory.
7. Finished work.
The clay is now a finished piece ready for display or use. It has endure the process to becoming the Master’s work of art.
We are work of art before God’s eyes. All the trial and tribulation we go through in life form us in to the individuals God has called us to. From being molded to being put through the fire of life. We are his finished workmanship. Our ability to preserve and endure the process of life make us who we are. We should celebrate the master touch on our live. His love for us takes us through the fires that cause us to be his children. Celebrate who you have become by the Master’s touch on your life !