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The Soulwork of Clay

I recently read The Soulwork of Clay - A Hands-On Approach to Spirituality" by Marjory Zoet Bankson.  It was an interesting book, the author touches on how working with clay can help us to be more in touch with our spiritual selves.  I wonder how many hobby potters feel this connection and how many professional potters feel it also.  It's probably a good idea to consciously forget about the deadlines and work pressures of being a professional artist and be very connected with the medium only.  I was inspired to be more mindful of the activity of wedging the clay. 
She includes some hands-on activities that do not require a potter's wheel or even a kiln.  These would be good ideas for events like team building workshops or retreats.  They might even be very helpful for coming up with new approaches to clay when we are feeling a little stale.
The photos in the book are all black and white and most of them are not very good.  This was probably the biggest disappointment for me.  I would have thought that as a book relating to art more consideration for the visual aspects of the book would have been considered important by all involved in getting the book printed.
I got the book from my local library so my only investment was time and I do think it was worth my time but I'm not sure it would be worth the $16.99 cover price.  However, I have a feeling in a few weeks or months I may think about something I read in this book and want to revisit the chapter. 
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery


  1. I found this book at a library some time ago and broused it briefly; in a post I'm writing now I curiously am talking about my pots showing my soul; have yet to post it though.

  2. My library has a pretty sucky section of clay books, but this looks interesting. I don't know how anyone can work with clay and not feel some spiritual connection. Maybe I can get them to order it in for me from another library....

  3. Linda- I thought about your work a lot while I was reading this book. I don't know your soul but I suspect your pots do show it.

    Tracey- I'd like to hear what you think of it if you can get it from your library.

  4. Looks like a great book to add to my library. Working with clay has given me contented/grounded feelings...except when I was feeling the pressure to really produce. I felt out of sync with my original intention of getting into clay. I suppose my reaction played one part in deciding to go back to school, but now I feel an even more intense stress that will no doubt carry over into a new career. My plan is to eventually return to clay but for myself.


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