The mound of clay is cool and moist in my hands. It feels primal and grounding. It feels like promise.

I roll it and flatten it repeatedly, removing bits of grit and closing air pockets. The clay responds to the warmth of my hands and becomes gradually softer. When its texture is pliable, strong and consistent, I ball it up and take it to the wheel.

I throw the heavy lump down onto the spinning platter, and firmly cup my hands around it. I guide it into the hub of the wheel’s energy. I touch the clay with water, and begin coaxing the dome into a cylinder. Pulling it up, and pushing it back down until it seems ready for an opening.

What will this pot hold someday? Carnations, coins, cream, coffee… I push my thumbs gently into its center and begin shaping its emptiness. I expand the void slowly, allowing the clay time to adjust.

When it’s right, I stop the spinning and pull a cutting wire through the base of the pot to release it from the wheel. Its shape is perfect, but its structure is tender. It still needs to experience fire.