Alchemy, Pottery and People – Recipes for Empowerment in 2015

Last week we explored the power of intentions as a tool for reaching a new level of happiness and fulfillment in the year ahead.

We’ve established how we can each be the alchemist in our own life. Clay Alchemy from the Voice of Clay will share with you the process we use to create the many forms in our pottery line, and metaphorically, the process of healing and empowerment we practice, teach and facilitate every day!

Our Blogs throughout 2015 will lead you week by week on a journey through the world of clay selection, preparation, and creation, and will clarify how each step, each choice along the way  results in a beautiful piece a pottery or a beautiful person.  Here at Clay Alchemy, with us, you can create both!

January began with our understanding of intention. That’s how it all begins!

“What the mind of man can conceive and believe, he can achieve.”    Napoleon Hill

If you’ve been following the blog, you may remember (or you can scroll down and read!) from the series on the elements, how we wedge the clay to remove the potentially trapped air.  It’s an essential step in the pottery-making process. If there’s air trapped in the clay when a piece goes into the kiln, the heat will cause the air to expand until the build-up of pressure causes it to explode!  This in turn will damage the other pieces in the kiln.

Wedging takes strength and effort.  You start with a heavy block of clay and knead it like dough over and over until all the air has been released from the clay.  It can’t be done gently or tentatively.  In pottery-making this must be done with great intention and energy!

It’s similar (and different) in people.  On a physical level trapped air can be uncomfortable …even painful.  Action must be taken to eliminate it, although circumstances often require finesse!

Metaphorically though, it requires the same approach as does wedging.  While physically trapped air is the result of poorly digested food, metaphorically speaking it’s undigested ideas which turn into unexamined beliefs that can be dangerous.  These really have to be vigorously driven out and released.  Once these air pockets hidden in the mind have been exposed and examined we can freely choose whether or not to integrate the ideas into our personal philosophy. Until we’ve wedged them out though, they are the sore points in conversations with others that often evoke a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction, and seem to demand that we defend them to the detriment of peace and congeniality.

Here at Clay Alchemy we offer a number of approaches to revealing these hidden beliefs.  Wedging clay while holding the intention to release your mental air pockets is one.  Meditating on the issue is another.  Breathwork is a particularly powerful tool for producing desired results.  Your astrological chart holds these secrets that can be revealed to you, and the classes and workshops we offer will empower you to unearth them as well!

If you are trying to make a difficult decision and you’re weighing up the pros and cons, you have frank conversations. Everybody knows this in their walk of life.  Tony Blair
I have never been shy about listening to the input of others and weighing it seriously.  Alice Sebold

 After the wedging comes the weighing.  In the pottery-making process the weighing is a direct result of our intention and essential to our result.  For example, if I intend to make a teapot, I’ll need a two pounds of clay. That’s how much clay it takes to make the teapot that I’ve developed and know I can produce efficiently and beautifully.  I don’t waste time by wondering, or clay by having too little or too much to get the job done.  I weigh it and get on with it!  If I don’t have two pounds of clay, I’d better change my plan and intend to make a mug!

An expert is someone who has succeeded in making decisions and judgements simpler through knowing what to pay attention to and what to ignore.   Edward de Bono

 In the process of living, people must weigh intentions, issues and actions to the same ends.  Ignoring and ‘fudging’ won’t produce the results we want.

“I want to weigh less, not through diet and exercise, but by acquiring a faulty scale.” Jarod KintzSeriously delirious, but not at all serious

For some reason, comedians are still children. The social skills somehow never reach us, so we say exactly what we think without weighing the results.   Bob Newhart


If we want that sense of pride that comes at the end of a job well done, it’s essential to weigh all the elements of a situation or project before making a decision and setting an intention.  Do we have the time and or energy to produce the desired result?  Is the result actually worth that time or energy?  How will it impact others?  Will it change the course of our life in a direction we’d like to go.  It’s been said that we spend more time choosing a new outfit of clothing that choosing our life’s work!

In Iroquois society, leaders are encouraged to remember seven generations in the past and consider seven generations in the future when making decisions that affect the people.   Wilma Mankiller

Lingering too long in the weighing phase though can block our taking action!

In 2015 we wish you good intentions, efficient wedging and weighing, and beautiful results.  Come Play with us!

When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.    Roy E. Disney

Coming up – a Series of four Experiential classes!

Empower Yourself With Clay, Dreams, the Breath and Journeying

 Clay: March 21st

Clay has been used for thousands of years not only to make pottery but as a healing remedy. In this workshop learn about clay poultices, baths, body treatments, edible clay and production clay and the differences between them. Come find out why healing ourselves with the earth is beneficial for the body, mind and spirit. We will hand build a pottery bowl for each participant to keep and you will see a demonstration of throwing on the wheel. Go home with practical information feeling more centered and grounded and with a renewed spirit!
Dreams: April 25th

Dreams are the way we keep in touch with our Higher Self. Or, we might say the way our Higher Self reaches out to communicate with us in order to inform and adjust our life course. Although there have been cultures that have recognized the value of dreams and taught their children its language our own does not. As a result we tend to discount and misunderstand these messages. We will learn how to remember our dreams and to understand the language that is a combination of universal and very personal symbols. Empower yourself with this essential tool for building self-awareness and fulfillment!

May 16th: Breath

This ancient tool expands awareness, opens up the heart center and allows flow. As a result find your true path, and a sense of belonging. Our culture does not teach or encourage us to breathe an open, healthy breath. We all live with too many demands on our time and money. Come and learn some breath exercises as well as experience Therapeutic Breathwork to reduce stress, unleash your authenticity and ultimately approach life with joy.

 June 13th: Journeying

Journeying comes from indigenous shamanic traditions.  While understanding our dreams empowers us to receive communications from our Higher Self, it’s through journeying that we can reach out and initiate that connection. While dreams seem illusive and ephemeral, journeys begin with our felt connection to the Earth, and take us to another realm. There you will find the practical answers to your questions and solutions to situations in your life.  Journey with us and leave with the experience of another reality and empowered with the skill to explore it whenever you wish!

 Time: All classes are 9:30-5:30

Cost: $400 for the series paid in advance. 

Alternatively you may register for individual classes at $125 per class

Register at


shannon Burke