|Turtle Pot by Author|
Those who know me well know that ceramics is an activity that I enjoy. I have made hundreds of pots, vases, cups, and bowls over the course of my life. Over the years I have noticed that many ceramics students struggle to make lids to cover their pots. One student showed me that she had made a pot with a lid that fit on its pot very well. After it came out of the kiln it had warped and no longer fit the pot at all. It had changed.
I explained that a lid that seemingly fits well will frequently warp as it dries. Reasons for this can be many, including changes in humidity and temperature as well as variations in wall thickness. Once dried, the two items are then placed and heated in a kiln at 1800-2000 degrees Fahrenheit for a day. During that time the lid and the pot shrink and continue to change. By the time items are fired, the lid and the pot no longer fit.
I explained to the student that there is a trick to prevent a pot and its lid to change during the drying and heating process. It is very simple. Put the lid on the pot. As soon as the wet clay reaches a leather-hard state, the lid should be placed on the pot, and there it should remain during the drying and firing process. The clay from the pot and the lid will inevitably rub and play off each other creating a tight snug fit. Instead of changing to the whims of the humidity, temperature, or wall thickness, the two pieces of the pot change together, and shrink until they are in a hardened state. Once taken out of the kiln, they will fit together permanently, not changing.
I see this same phenomenon in relationships. All too often I hear of couples who fall out of love. Time has a way of changing people, and many fall into the trap of drifting away from each other as they change. I have a recommendation for couples who feel as though they are growing apart. Stay close to the one you love. Change is inevitable, because it is human nature. Those who stay apart will drift apart. Those who stay together change together, and forge a relationship that will endure the tests and trials of life.