Lessons from the process. I have always emphasized the importance of the creative process. It is the space where new ideas are formed, lessons are learned, mistakes are made. This large platter; hand formed in red earthenware, painted with slips, underglazes and wax resist and fired twice is a great reminder of that. It was a challenge to work on a platter of this size. I can only push and pull the clay so far before it begins to make decisions of its own. Admittedly, the cracks around the perimeter were unplanned but not unexpected. They are the clay's memory of the stress it underwent in the forming process when I had to piece together multiple slabs to achieve the size. I can't deny my initial disappointment when I opened the kiln but it faded quickly as I studied the imperfections, recalled the sense of experimentation I felt through the process of creating and internalized it to recognize the many shifts in my own physicality as life pushes and pulls me to fit a preconceived form that I may not always feel comfortable fitting. Its the cracks in the facade that provide a freeing sense of breaking away from a predetermined path, open the door to new direction and remind me to remain ripe for change.