Drawing from her first-hand experience of working with clay, Marjory Zoet Bankson takes you through the seven-step process of making clay into a pot, drawing parallels at each stage to the process of spiritual growth
Marjory Zoet Bankson
Photographs by Peter Bankson
7 x 9, 192 pp | b/w photos | 978-1-59473-249-2
Let go of your pretensions—squeeze, shape, knead & play your way to spiritual growth.
“I am being formed by the clay. I am reconnecting with the earth, and with the other basic elements, too—air, water, fire—and life itself. Every gesture leaves its trail in the clay. Every fingerprint, a message. My breath fills the cavity. My touch curves the wall of a bowl. And inwardly, I am being formed by the outward practice. I am learning to trust the process, to lean into the possibilities rather than striving for some predetermined goal. I am being hollowed out, stretched and constricted, trimmed and sometimes reworked entirely.”
—from the Prologue
Drawing from her first-hand experience of working with clay, Marjory Zoet Bankson takes you through the seven-step process of making clay into a pot, drawing parallels at each stage to the process of spiritual growth:
- Grounding—Connecting with our core elements
- Kneading—Awakening to the inner realm Centering—Gathering everything together
- Shaping—Focusing inner and outer pressures Finishing—Trimming away the excess
- Decorating—Adding a playful touch Firing—Committing to transformation
This simple connection with the earth has the potential to put you in touch with the whole of creation and, at the same time, your soul's longing to participate as an artist, creating something new and unique.
Through reflective questions in each chapter—along with a wealth of unique clay projects that even beginners can do—Bankson invites you on a journey of spiritual discovery, a path of reconnecting with your body and spirit, and with the earth itself.
“Admirable.... All craft aficionados should take pleasure in this volume.... Highly recommended.”
—Catholic Library World
“Pairs insight with play in this invitation to inner awakening through creative time with clay. Guides us to embody an almost childlike awareness of the present moment while engaging in the mature work of becoming our fullest selves—for our own sake and that of the world.”
—Grace G. Ogden, director, Sacred Circles spirituality program, Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
“Inspiring....Teaches us about staying centered, about the playfulness of choices, and about the crucible of transformation.”
—Spirituality & Practice
“Rich with wise reflections on the art of living with congruence and integrity so that the outer shape of our lives accurately reflects the inner space. You don’t have to become a potter to benefit from this book.”
—Rev. Thomas Ryan, CSP, author, Soul Fire: Accessing Your Creativity
“Draws powerful parallels to our own process of spiritual growth, showing us why ‘the potter and the clay’ is one of the most ancient and deep-reaching of all spiritual metaphors.”
—Parker J. Palmer, author, A Hidden Wholeness
“A personal and grace filled invitation—to claywork, the spiritual journey, and the stuff of life.”
—Doug Wysockey-Johnson, executive director, Faith at Work
“Wonderful.... Shares divine insight, stretches us with spiritual questions, and offers practical artistic instruction on working with clay.”
—Rev. Jean M. Richardson, executive director, Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center, Bangor, Pennsylvania