Years ago as a young potter I was doing some raku work with a limited level of success. We were doing an art show called Art In The Park in Boise, Idaho, a big show with some great artists. Much of their work was outstanding, but there was a potter at the show who did raku work of a quality I had never seen. This potter was from Texas and I started talking to him about his technique. He was pretty open about how he did his work and I was starting to learn a lot. Then he discovered that I was a fellow potter and the Texan clammed up, and if he could have he would have taken back everything he had told me. Since he was from Texas and I was from Montana, and a young, novice potter, I’m pretty sure that I could not have had a negative impact on his market. I was so taken back that I set my heart to try, for the rest of my life, to encourage other potters every time I had the opportunity.
This week I went to a table at our restaurant where two ladies were having lunch. I knew one of them but not the other. The one I didn’t know was from Capetown, South Africa. She told me that she was in our store 2 years earlier and what she saw was so encouraging she went home and got out all her ceramic materials and started throwing again. She had studied Ceramics in school and had put away all of her materials for nearly a decade. I gave them a tour of our studio. As I told her our story, over and over she just kept thanking me for being such an encouragement to her.
Today a lady came by asking if I knew a certain person. I could remember her name but not anything else, then the customer told me that in 2002, this lady came to my studio and I gave her some clay and let her use my wheel and the studio. Today she is successfully making her living selling pots on the east coast.
It has been a blessing this week to see how God has allowed us to encourage someone in their pottery and their lives. I'm sure that there are others but in His wisdom we just get little glimpses of things so we don’t become proud, but enough so that we are encouraged to continue to reach out to others.
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