About five years ago, I had the pleasure of working for a small, but popular, local pottery studio. I started just working in the gallery, dusting pieces, learning about the artists, and discovering the nature of clay. It wasn't long before I was wanting to get my hands in the mud across the way in the studio. I had a wonderful and patient mentor that showed me the basics of handbuilding. Before long, I was branching out and sculpting faces and learning how to carve. I'm very grateful to have had that opportunity, because there is something so cathartic about working with clay. I learned that it is a master of teaching life lessons. First, there is patience, because you have to wait for the clay to be ready to move forward. It takes time to make a solid piece. Secondly is forgiveness. Because no matter how much careful work you put into it, ceramics are fragile. One slip and an entire week's worth of work flies through the air from the tray you're carrying to the kiln and shattering to the ground. But you can't beat yourself up about it. The third thing I would have to give credit to clay for is to pay attention to the details. It's always in the details! This whimsical fairy house planter also makes a great votive holder or even a vase for cut flowers. I used a glass votive holder and covered it with low fire clay. Once partly dry, I carved out the lines to resemble bark. Once this was partly cured, I then used slurry to attach the stones, plants, and mushrooms made from air dry clay. After it was dried solid, I then sprayed the outside with bronze and rose gold paint, hand painting smaller details. I then sprayed the inside and rim with copper paint to resemble the warmth inside a home. Before calling it finished, I sprayed the entire inside and out with a clear enamel coating. I like to pull my inspiration from the beautiful Pisgah National Forest that I am blessed to be surrounded by. I hope you find it as special as I do.