Earthen, grounded, primal and essential are all words I think of when I encounter pottery. The connection between potter and medium is the creation moment. Dripping earth, turning upon the wheel, yielding to the slightest touch or brushing stroke of artist colliding with possibility – this is the moment I see in every piece of pottery.
There is something more substantial in a pottery mug. The weight of it and the irregularities of shape and color demand that each piece be seen and treated as individual. Pottery seems never to disconnect with its origins. No matter how finely shaped, painted or glazed, just the substantial feel of the pottery cup in my hands reminds me that it came from that particular combination of earth and craft. This morning’s Sunday Coffee Cup holds the honor of being the longest surviving piece of hand crafted pottery in my home.
It was a gift from my days as a pastor and has traveled between parsonages and offices; always radiating warmth to my hands as they clasped around its solid coil. It has held coffee, tea and the hopes and fears of a young pastor trying to make a difference. It's listened to people’s secrets and the rhythm of a daisy wheel printer typing out sermons. This potter's cup has seen months of daily use and adoration and has spent its time gathering dust on bookshelves and holding unused pens. It has survived moving boxes and the division of marital goods. Somehow, it remained in an unassuming fashion, waiting patiently for its turn to be held and used – to serve its quiet and steady purpose – solid, earthen, and primal is this cup.
It is amazing, warmed by the brew it holds today, cradled between my hands, all that this Sunday Coffee Cup holds for me.