It’s an amazing little town of master potters who have workshops in their houses, centered around an old kiln built into the side of a hill. I was one credit shy of a ceramics minor in college, so this stuff is my jam. But this day, I just wanted to leave.
It was raining, our oldest was being nudgey, my wife had our baby on her back, I had the toddler on mine and was holding the sticky hand of our squirmy four year-old. The kids were not having it. It just wasn’t our day and I wanted to go home.
But my oldest daughter, who was wonderfully behaved that morning, asked to stop by the glassblower's shop on the way out. We agreed thankfully.
As we stood in the rain watching through the open window of the shed, the artists motioned us inside. I led the kids around the recycled glass and snaking electrical cords so we could see inside the kiln. They were making a something, but I couldn’t tell what. We all watched, rapt.
The master pulled his molten glass from the kiln, spinning it on his pipe. He turned it this way, then that, cut here with his scissors and then brought it back to the kiln. When he opened the door even though I stood ten feet away, I could feel the heat. That thing was HOT.
A minute later he pulled the glowing orange mass out and he and his apprentices spun and swung and clipped the molten blob into a gorgeous bowl. It was incredible. Artistry in motion.
I kept thinking about the kiln though. And how often a crucible is needed to purify raw and broken materials into a masterpiece. And the heat is repeated! In pottery there are two firings, both near 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit! In glass blowing it’s in and out and in and out of the kiln until the piece is done. There are multiple stresses and multiple rounds of intense heat.
Don't forget that. Especially if life has you in the crucible right now. Often it's a necessary step open the door to beauty.
This weekend, I pray you will have the fortitude to continue through life’s refining fires and that you have vision to see the Artist’s handiwork in them. Keep going friend!