I believe in the art of play. I believe in the play of art.
Scripture tells us we’re created in the image of God, and in him we see creativity beyond comparison, imagination with no bounds. Nature screams it in her beauty, her complexity, her diversity.
Study your hand. An odd thing, perhaps, but look at it in a way you never have before. You’ll be amazed. Your nails, the joints, the prints on fingers and thumb. Lines that might not tell your future, but certainly tell your life. Your hand is art by a masterful creator. And that’s only one tiny part of you.
As image bearers we share in God’s creative nature, and I think children know it best. Or maybe they’re freer to declare the joy in, and goodness of, their work: “Look what I made!” They know how to be proud without a hint of arrogance.
Children grow up and forget so many important things (adults forget so many important things), or maybe self-awareness settles in and we stuff down or crowd out or silence the creative in ourselves.
Of course, Hobby Lobby and Michael’s exist for those who remember.
This year I signed up for a clay class at my church, led by two friends whose artistic talents match the joy they have in sharing their giftings with others. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and they make you believe there’s Midas touch in your fingers.
Each week they supplied us with a flat of clay and new instructions, and from there we cut and shaped, slipped and scored our way to something incredibly special: my new favorite Christmas nativity.
I’ve always loved crèches, and though there are so many beautiful ones you can buy, my favorites are handmades.
A beautiful takeaway from the class is a deeper glimpse of God as potter; clay in my hands helped me grasp the care and intention in God’s creation of humanity. Not that I’ll ever fully understand it….
I loved both the process and end result. I strongly encourage you to take an art class in your area, but it comes with a caution:
Don’t strive for perfection; go for perfect imperfection. It’s so much more beautiful.
My angel. I’d probably re-think that heart now, but when I added it, it was a simple expression of love.
I had a hard time with Joseph and my little sheep. I couldn’t get Joseph’s hair quite right, I smudged the pattern in his cloak when shaping him, and my sheep? Well, he looked like a cross between a brain and a wig for Joseph. In the end they were fine, a great reminder how forgiving clay is.
Mary, Babe in Manger…and tools of our trade. I had hoped Mary’s head covering would be removable; same with Jesus’ swaddling cloth. But, the way I made them they became attached (a little harder to paint…I’ll take note the next time I work with clay).
Glazed but not yet fired in the kiln. It is amazing to me how different they look before…
I think you did a great job for someone who does not work with clay all the time !!! I think they came out wonderfully !
I just thought I would update you on another Christmas issue… a tree topper. My son in college came home with a beanie baby sized “Bumble” from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. I put it on a branch near the top and it looks great. Not exactly saintly… but he knows how as a child I loved that movie and wanted to go live on the island of misfit toys because that is where I thought I belonged (not a great childhood). And I always liked the “reformed Bumble”. The tulle bow is still there but the Bumble represents someone who “heard” me just like God hears us and so for me, it is now “the one.”
I love it! Your creche and your article
Hi Robin! I am so glad you posted this! When you make something in clay, it is good FOREVER (unless it gets broken :0). This nativity grouping is so sweet! I am posting this on my SimplyJuli Facebook page! http://on.fb.me/1RMAomA
I so loved watching this lovely set develop on FB – thanks for writing about it so beautifully. Happy New Year, Robin!!
These look amazing! You have some talent!!! Yes-God is constantly molding us into the person He wants us to be!! Then one day He will come back as bride groom and take us all home!