Hands in Soil – Hands in Clay

Hands in Soil – Hands in Clay

By Linda Wiggen Kraft

Listen closely, the very stuff we walk upon named earth calls to us. There is a calling from soil that brings gardener’s hands into the dirt to grow a garden. There is a calling from clay that brings potter’s and clay artist’s hands into the dirt to transform it into objects that become part of daily life. I can’t resist both callings, so when my hands aren’t digging in garden soil, they are in the clay studio playing and creating with clay.

I once heard the term “earth whisperer.” It is a name all gardeners and clay artists could be called. The term should be “earth listener and earth whisperer.”

There is much to learn from both listening and whispering to soil and clay.
Part of earth listening is learning from others, books and online. From those sources we learn that garden soil has structure and ingredients of worn down rocks, sand, clay, organic and other matter. Garden soil allows roots, fungi, microorganisms, worms and other life to grow. Clay for pottery has its own chemical ingredients and structure that allows it to be worked from a soft malleable form to a hard object transformed by heat and fire.

Earth whispering with soil and clay takes place when hands, heart and head come into physical contact. Touching, observing and working with these materials lets us help the inert matter come alive. Soil and clay get on our hands, under our fingernails and on our clothes. This touching brings us to those perfect moments of being one with earth.

We are made of the stuff of earth. Nutrients from soil, water and sun are absorbed by a plant’s roots and body. We eat those nutrients and they are absorbed into our bodies. We create with clay and bring those objects into our life as we eat and drink off of them and adorn our home and gardens as well.

Soil and clay have been intimate partners with humans as humans changed from hunter-gatherers to settled farmers. The need for containers and vessels grew as the culture of growing food also grew. Archeology reveals the evolution of potters along with farming.

This ancient relationship continues today with the call to gardening and a call to create in clay. If you are a gardener and miss hands in soil in the colder months, try your hand at hands in clay. Let yourself be an earth listener and whisperer in more ways than one.

At the Healthy Planet Expo March 20, I will be answering gardening questions and selling some of my clay creations, mandala coloring books and more. Visit my website and Pinterest to see more, (www.pinterest.com /LindaWKraft)

Please visit my booth on March 20th.

Linda Wiggen Kraft is a landscape designer who creates holistic and organic gardens. She is also a mandala artist and workshop leader. Visit her blog: CreativityForTheSoul.com/blog or website: CreativityForTheSoul.com.
Contact her at 314 -504-4266.