My brother-in-law, Kevin, is a talented artist. He has cultivated a particular knack for work in ceramic tile. Over the past few years, he has executed some three-dimensional designs that are pretty neat, some that are downright impressive and a few that are just plain awesome. He’d like to make that talent his means of livelihood by providing custom tile for homes of distinction.
Having some notion that a little bit of public awareness might elevate his chances of securing such gainful opportunity, Kevin decided to set up a display at the St. Joseph Home, Lawn and Garden Show this past weekend. As part of my small assistance in putting together his exhibit, I carried in a ceramic deer bust that he had made for our son-in-law.
Just inside the arena service entrance, I walked past a man and his wife. I heard him exclaim to her, “See, I told you they’d have deer heads down here.”
They followed me over to Kevin’s booth. They admired the reeds and heron fireplace surrounds that Kevin had made, including the relief expression of four-foot-tall cattails with clinging songbird and peeping frog. And, of course, the realism of the white tail buck which had drawn them into the scene.
After Kevin described the transition of his works from “a ball of wet clay” through final glaze and firing, the man began to tell Kevin how he’d like to have a deer head be the centerpiece of a hearth design for the fireplace in the house he and his wife had just bought. “No problem,” Kevin reassured him, “we’ll let your imagination be our guide.”
The man looked around at the three-foot-tall owl sculpted onto tiles, the four foot tall herons, swaying reeds, Celtic knots in multiple colors and finishes, the singing clarinets, eighteen inch ceramic medallion and shook his head emphatically. “Nah,” he said, “we’ll use your imagination.”
When we consider the wonder of God’s world, the magnitude of his love for us and incomprehensible degree of his intimate knowledge, we should reach a similar conclusion about who should be in charge of our projects.
H. Arnett 2/24/03