Fri, Aug 7th, 2015 The final pose in every yoga class is Savasana. This is the most important and most difficult of all poses not because of how it is done, but because of what it represents, complete surrender.
In order to surrender, you have to let go and trust, two things that are very hard for humans to do. In clay, the moment of Savasana comes after you have done everything and the saggar kiln is loaded and fired.
Clay, like yoga, teaches us to yield to our expectations and take notice of what we receive. As in yoga, the guiding principle is to receive yourself where you are today....not where you want to be and not where you once were. This may come in the form of tight muscles or an aching back, but with breath, careful attention and a regular practice, this too shall pass.
Clay, whether at the wheel, on the table or in the saggar kiln, will reflect our level of experience, attention and capacity to learn, by simply doing what it does - reflecting the hands of the maker. It is the makers challenge to not struggle with it, but to move, learn and grow from it.
It was in that spirit that we unloaded the more than 75 egg-like paper clay husks from the saggar firing in Tuscany. The results were as varied as the 15 participants. Some pieces were spectacular, others a great surprise and even others were filled with lessons.
Tightly bound husks, wrapped like a hard to open present did the best, while loosely packed egg-shells broke open too quickly during the saggar firing and the larger burner flame licked them clean.
Off the Mat and Into the Studio ended with a large collection of results that reflected the personalities of the players and the unlimited lessons. We stretched our ideas and opened up possibilities for future exploration.
In addition to the clay and firing explorations, we made new friends, shared lives over wine and late night pizza gatherings and made an impact on every life there. What a wonderful group.
I hope those who journeyed with me to Tuscany to learn about saggar firing left with full experiences and memories that will last forever, I know I did. Thank you all.