cannot know what it will become while hurtling through other people’s hands. It has no say in who is pressing it in, by what it is being heated, or why it is folding into and around itself. If clay could think, this might be a shame. Like humans, that which is maleable will undoubtedly preoccupy over its desired shape, ignoring the boundaries set by foreign fingers surrounding it entirely, creating its grooves.
sees potential in all that is raw. For instance, there is earthenware, desired for its basic convenience, porous, and with a muddy sort of warmth. Or porcelain, which is stubborn but sturdy, and as light as it is hard. Clay can only sit in waiting to tell a story from its author. But a sculptor can be discerning and resourceful, and playful, interplaying between warmth and light and the gray that exists in between them — figuratively and literally. Total malleability is the sculptor’s tool.
It is a markedly human quality to reshape the very ground on which we walk on into our own image.
retains a say in the sculptor’s ambitions. Clay is borrowed Earth. When it is merely touched by the liquid pouring down from the sky, it dissolves and strays from the sculptor’s image. It can seep into its foundation and crack its walls. On the other hand, the proper amount of fire rising through the core of the clay will solidify the sculptor’s intent for everyone to see, or utilize, or even break on their own (who needs nature’s help?).
forced to be both clay and sculptor to myself, defining and designing the elements that make me up through no fault of my own. I push me, and I feel me. My body is many things, muddled in its attempted warmth, gray in its impurities, and it is sturdy, but fragile. I have emerged from the world around me, and I desire to pave a way forward for me to walk in my own image.
takes hold, even after being rained on, cracked, and hardened. I am molded by my own fingers running through my own grooves, but I have no say who forces them in, or what gives me heat, or why I am folding into and around myself. It is a shame I preoccupy over my eventual shape; I am maleable, continually broken into pieces, mixed by water, molded again and again and again, a figure of me, molded from a figure of you.