Pottery Meditation

Breathe.

Deep breath. 

My master potter instructor at Clayscapes Pottery always reminds us to breathe. In my earlier pottery days those instructions weren’t at the forefront of my mind…  I was focusing on making technical progress. Nowadays I am way more grateful for those reminders, and most importantly, for the love and wisdom shared by my instructor in doing so.

As some people know, my pottery is infused with love, from the first touch of the clay to the moment I gift, sell or welcome a pottery piece to my home. During the many moments in between LOVE is spoken, felt, thought, incorporated, through creation, drying, trimming, finishing, bisquing, glazing, firing, etc – and now I find that I can include more and more of the Deep Breath.


Mindful Breathing, Meditation and and Throwing Clay

For several years I found it hard to attain a meditative state, though not for a lack of trying. In fact I over-tried. I over analyzed and over-thought. I’d usually end up frustrated and disappointed in myself.  Everyone kept saying, “It’s all in the breath,” or “Focus on the breathing.”  So there I was, focusing on the air coming into my lungs, letting it hang out a few seconds, then examining the air being pushed out of my lungs from the alveoli sacks upwards through the tubes, up my thorax to the nasal and head cavity and then either out my nose past my nostrils or out my mouth past my lips which would then shut firmly as I held my breath a few seconds before starting the process again.

Wow – pretty intensive for something that is supposed to relax eh? LOL

And then one day recently someone somewhere said this: “Focus on the cool air coming into the nose, and then focus on the slightly warmer over your upper lip.”

Image result for epiphany

On the first try with this new focus, I found a meditative state!


Nowadays I explore different counting methods, and the following 3 Steps seem to help me get meditative rather efficiently – what used to be 45 minutes can now be as quick as 5 minutes!

3 Deep Breaths

Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth

(Bonus 1: continue a few more times while doing a prayer for protection; Bonus 2: continue a few more times with a focus on a mantra or with healing, loving words, i.e. “Breathe in Love, Breathe out Stress”.)

4     7     8 

BREATHE in through the nose to a count of 4

HOLD for a count of 7

BREATH out through the mouth to a count of 8

Repeat 7 or so times and then resume normal breathing

(Dr. Andrew Weil wrote up a similar technique using the 4:7:8 ratio.)

Resume Normal Breathing through the Nose

About this time I do focus on

  • Bringing in LOVE with my inhale; and releasing any remaining stress, frustration, worry, anxiety, etc with my exhale
  • I do this a few times before simply ALLOWING myself to BE in the state or matter of love both during my inhales and exhales
  • Now I experience whatever is for my greatest and highest good – this is a meditative state for me.

I am safe, protected, loved, loving, I am love.


 

So how does that pair with Pottery?  Breathing and loving each creation is a win-win situation, however your style.

 

I encourage everyone to research and explore different breathing techniques. Find the ones that resonate with you and then share what you’ve learned.

 

Here’s something neat that I found on betterymindbodysoul.com:

Meditation tips for beginners by

BetterMindBodySoul.com


Nebula Glaze? Whaaaaaat?

The folks at Clayscapes Pottery are always creating, exploring, and doing new things – including letting us try new glazes.

Nebula Glaze.  Wow!

 

Here are a few pieces I create most recently:

  • Glazed with a Starry Night base, dipped 1/2 from neck to base with Nebula, topped with a small rim of Cream. The clay body is 66.

  • Glazed with a Starry Night base, 1/4 dipped from neck to middle with Nebula and topped with a angle or rim of Cream.  The clay body is 66.

 

I’ll definitely be exploring more with this Nebula Glaze!

Thank you Clayscapes Pottery!

Wood-firing Prepper

Soon I will be joining forces with my wood-firing citizens to mass produce some of today’s most creative and heart-felt pieces in the area! Last month I finally came out of hibernation (Native American Bear Clan reference LOL) and started working to prepare for the wood-firing. I also had pieces that didn’t make it into the last wood-firing that will be included in the lot, like the “Man Offering” figure below (on the left).

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Additional Love: There was also a story shared with me from a fellow potter that her family & her were excited to incorporate wood from a downed Maple tree. Her pieces were being prepared with this heart-felt natural bond. Perhaps I can share a photo or two of her tree and/or the pieces she created.

Image result for old maple tree clipart

These pieces are getting ready to be bisqued. Later I’ll glaze the interior with a food-safe glaze, and perhaps embellish a few with some distinctive character.

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This wood-firing experience is going to be epic!

Stay tuned for more exciting updates.

Soul Work Soul Passion Soul Process in this Life

Lid

noun

1.

a removable or hinged cover for closing the opening, usually at the top, of a pot, jar, trunk, etc.; a movable cover.

 

Cups, mugs, jar, teapots, vases, boxes – oh my! Put a lid on it LOL

 

My master teacher Millie St. John directed us to focus on lids this semester at Clayscapes Pottery. There are myriad types of lids to play with, to create, to use – all based on one’s intent.  I’ll show pics of lids I made, and hopefully lids other students made this year. In the mean time here is a series of photos of Millie making a lid.

1.  In addition to enjoying learning about and making different types of lids I also thought I’d create pieces for the upcoming wood-firing.  One rule I forgot was that for wood-fired pieces, the lid should extend beyond the lip.  Perhaps like these (photos courtesy of The Spruce):

When it was time for wood-firing I acknowledged the error of my ways several times… a lesson learned.

 

2. The other thing I was interested in trying was combining my finished pieces with a crystal or stone. Here are the wood-fired finished pieces that were fashioned with a crystal or stone fully with mindfulness and sage.

hand-crafted pottery with crystals and stones

Mindfulness & Heart Intent -OneidaShark Pottery