I have often observed that those who make objects of fired clay are the most courageous of artists, their relationship to their chosen medium most easily compared to the spiritual life. After all their thought and effort, they must quite literally submit their work to the fire, often multiple times. The heat of the kiln changes the clay, making it hard as stone, changing its color, and melting the glaze into a thin layer of glass. What emerges from the kiln may be shattered into a thousand shards; or slumped into an unrecognizable lump; it may become something near to the thing of shining beauty that the artist envisions. Whatever happens, the object that enters the fire always emerges transformed.