There are many things that make us who we are.
They mold and form us as we do to a lump of clay. Unlike the clay, we don’t stay in one shape or place. Something new comes along to nudge us along the path of growth. Sometimes they are tragedies. More often, they are simple things; going to visit Mom and realizing how much you miss the trees of your youth or taking a walk and finding the perfect flat rock to sit and meditate, then realizing the property is for sale.
Most of the time, they aren’t life-altering to have us uproot and move to a new state or to get a divorce. These are the hands that gently shape us and mold us, one moment at a time. We absorb these little nudges and slightly change. And we must be ready for the big events too. Not to expect them as a pessimist, but simply being open to life’s nudges, big or small.
There is a Taoist saying to be like water.
Water is ever-changing. It’s both hard and soft. Given time, it can erode rock, yet it always keeps flowing along the path. May we always be ready and open to change, while having the patience to get what we need along the path of life.
My maternal grandmother had a slip-casting hobby and I would take her clay scraps and make things. My love of clay grew from those early creations, of which I recently received one back as a gift. It made me smile. I studied clay at the University of Dallas in the mid 90’s under Dan Hammett and enjoyed working on NCECA (annual ceramic conference) when it came to Ft. Worth in 98. In 2002 I returned to my hometown in the Ozarks and opened my studio here. My studio is now in a valley just east of Fayetteville.
Early on, I was drawn to great architecture and started college on that tract, but ended up with a BA in advertising. The works of Bruce Goff, Frank Lloyd Wright and Gaudi have influenced my art. My pottery is primarily functional, often with whimsy. I make colorful dishes, but my passion is for the architectural pieces I create (tiles, light fixtures and unique custom sinks). I love what I do and I’m very thankful that people enjoy my art enough to purchase it. In turn, I get to keep making and doing the things that I love. I enjoy learning; especially sharing my knowledge and passions with others. Hopefully, you glean a bit of the enjoyment that I experience daily. Life is sweet when you love what you do!
In the 1980’s and 90’s I worked for a company that regularly brought in people to keep us motivated. I loved these lunch and learn events and attended as many as I could. I often took that info and merged it with all of my own life lessons to assist friends who were going through things. I find it sort-of funny, but I have had probably a dozen different people throughout my life give me the nick-name “Smiley”. I love offering my smile and hopefully making someone-elses day a little sunnier. It is also what inspires me to help others through life-coaching. There are far too many people who do not have the slightest idea how special they are and how they can sparkle with their own gifts. I love spreading a little light for them to see and break out of the box of conformity to be their happiest and most true self. It is AWEsome to watch.
Life leads us down roads so that we may grow and learn, all to become the best and most whole person that we may become. Life keeps shaping us the way water does to the rocks or the way we mold clay in the studio. Life has brought me many lessons and my path is my own, but also shared with every other person here on earth. I have lived here and there. I have traveled here and there. I have loved people here, there and everywhere. I have had several careers and thrive when I am creating, learning and loving. I don’t know specifically what my future holds, but I welcome the opportunity to experience it with gratitude and open arms.
Thanks for visiting. I hope to inspire you to create and thrive in your life.
– Kelley Wilks