A pug mill works essentially in the same way a mincer might and it churns up and reforms the clay to a smooth consistency. Clay that has been through a pug mill is fantastic to work with. The auger churns up the clay and works out any inconsistencies and lumps and bumps and packs it tightly together. Many wheel throwers tend to prefer de-aired clay as it is that bit smoother, but there is a slight downside in that it can dry out your clay a little.
Your body will thank you for taking the pressure off having to wedge all your clay. Stoneware or earthenware are the perfect clays to run through a pug mill. Does the snow of Lebanon leave the crags of Sirion? Do the mountain waters run dry, the cold flowing streams? But my people have forgotten me, they burn incense to false gods; they have stumbled in their ways, in the ancient roads, and have gone into by-paths, not the highway, making their land a horror, a thing to be hissed at for ever.
Every one who passes by it is horrified and shakes his head. Like the east wind I will scatter them before the enemy.
I will show them my back, not my face, in the day of their calamity. Come, let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not heed any of his words. Is evil a recompense for good? Yet they have dug a pit for my life. Remember how I stood before thee to speak good for them, to turn away thy wrath from them. Therefore deliver up their children to famine; give them over to the power of the sword, let their wives become childless and widowed. May their men meet death by pestilence, their youths be slain by the sword in battle.
May a cry be heard from their houses, when thou bringest the marauder suddenly upon them! For they have dug a pit to take me, and laid snares for my feet.
Forgive not their iniquity, nor blot out their sin from thy sight. Let them be overthrown before thee; deal with them in the time of thine anger. Jeremiah Ray C. Stedman offers a clear commentary on this passage in his book The Pot and the Potter, from Death of a Nation. First there was the clay. And Jeremiah knew, as he watched the potter shaping and molding the clay, that he was looking at a picture of himself, and of every man, and of every nation.
We are the clay. Both Isaiah and Zechariah in the Old Testament join with Jeremiah in presenting this picture of the potter and the clay. And in the New Testament we have the voice of Paul in that great passage in Romans 9, reminding us that God is the Potter and we are the clay. So Jeremiah saw the clay being shaped and molded into a vessel.
Reforming the Potter's Clay by Donald James Parker
Then some imperfection in the clay spoiled it in the potter's hand, and the potter crumbled it up, and began anew the process of shaping it into a vessel that pleased him. That wheel stands for the turning circumstances of our life, under the control of the Potter, for it is the potter's foot that guides the wheel.
The lesson is clear. As our life is being shaped and molded by the Great Potter, it is the circumstances of our life, the wheels of circumstance, what Browning called "this dance of plastic circumstance", which bring us again and again under the potter's hand, under the pressure of the molding fingers of the Potter, so that he shapes the vessel according to his will.
God, he knew, was the Great Potter, with absolute right over the clay to make it what he wanted it to be. Paul argues this with keen and clear logic in Romans 9: "Will what is molded say to its molder, 'Why have you made me thus? The vessel is shaped according to the image in the potter's mind. He has a sovereign right to make it what he wants it to be. He has the skill and design to work with the clay and to bring it to pass. And if there be some imperfection in the clay, something which mars the design, spoils the work, the potter simply crushes the clay down to a lump and begins again to make it yet a vessel according to his own mind.
In the verses which follow, this lesson is applied to the nation When the pressure the potter applies is successful in turning the clay in the right direction, the potter seems to repent, the pressure is relieved, and the clay is allowed then to remain in the form it has taken. But when something in the clay resists, the potter then seems to repent of making a vessel at all, and he crushes it into a lump, and begins again to make it yet into the vessel he desires.
If some hard circumstance comes into your lifeand it may be there right now, or it may be just around the corner, or you may just have passed through itthat circumstance is the wheel of God, to bring you against the pressure of the Potter's hand. If you do not resist, if your will does not spoil the work by murmuring, grumbling, or complaining, or feeling resentful and bitter, but you accept the working of the Potter, then the pressure is relieved, and the vessel takes shape.
But if there is resistance, if the human will, like some imperfection in the clay, chooses something other than the Potter has in mind, then the Potter can do nothing else but crush it down to a lump once again and, beginning with the same lump, make it over into a vessel which suits his heart and mind. The great lesson Jeremiah learned at the potter's house was that of the sovereign control of God.
He is the potter, and we are the clay Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon this place that the ears of every one who hears of it will tingle. Because the people have forsaken me, and have profaned this place by burning incense in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents [This was a place where altars were erected to the god Molech, a fearsome, grinning god inside of which was built a great fire, and then through whose mouth the people passed their living children to be burned alive.
And in this place I will make void the plans of Judah and Jerusalem Men make plans. God makes other plans. Napoleon had to learn that lesson. He once said, 'God is on the side of the army with the heaviest artillery. Helena, he said, 'Man proposes; but God disposes. I will give their dead bodies for food to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the earth.
Custom Stoneware Creations on Display at Three Dot Pottery Workshop/Showroom
And I will make this city a horror, a thing to be hissed [whistled] at; every one who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss [whistle] because of all its disasters. And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and every one shall eat the flesh of his neighbor in the siege and in the distress, with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them.
In but a few years the armies of Nebuchadnezzar surrounded this city, laid siege to it, and the resulting famine grew so severe, as we will see in this very prophecy, that the people resorted to cannibalism and killed and ate their own children, and one another, in order to live. Then the armies broke down the walls of the city and leveled them to the ground, so that later those passing by would whistle in amazement at the destruction which came upon this city. Men shall bury in Topheth because there will be no place else to bury.
Thus will I do to this place, says the Lord, and to its inhabitants, making this city like Topheth. The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judahall the houses upon whose roofs incense has been burned to all the host of heaven, and drink offerings have been poured out to other godsshall be defiled like the place of Topheth.
And as they watched it fly into smithereens, so that it was impossible to bring it back together, these people were taught that they were dealing with a God whose love is so intense that he will never alter his purposeeven if he has to destroy and crush and break them down again They see the hell which is coming into our nation, the hellish things which are taking place.
And soon it will be worse, according to the prophetic Scriptures. There will be worse signs taking place, worse affairs among men, in which 'men's hearts will fail them for fear of seeing the things which are coming to pass on the face of the earth. That is all the world sees. Jeremiah had been to the potter's house. He had seen the potter making a vessel, and he knew that it was love behind the Potter's pressures, and that when the vessel was marred, the Potter was capable of crushing it down again, bringing it to nothing but a lump, and then molding it, shaping it once again, perhaps doing this again and again, until at last it fulfilled what God wanted.
That is the great lesson Jeremiah learned at the potter's house, and that we can learn at the potter's house, as well. In Paul's second letter to Timothy he says,. If any one purifies himself from what is ignoble [those practices which appear just before this in the context wrongful attitudes, contentiousness, ungodliness, doctrinal aberrations, iniquity] then he will be a vessel for noble use, consecrated and useful to the master of the house, ready for any good work.
Stedman, Fit to Be Used. What a tremendous lesson, what a beautiful lesson Jeremiah learned at the potter's houseone which I hope will guide us and guard us under the pressures which are coming into our lives these days. Remember that the Potter has a purpose in mind, and the skill and ability to fulfill it, no matter how many times he may have to make the vessel over again.
After pruning down the volunteer army from 22, to , Gideon was given God's strategy for overcoming the Midianite oppressors in the Days of the Judges,. And the LORD said to Gideon, "With the three hundred men that lapped I will deliver you, and give the Midianites into your hand; and let all the others go every man to his home But if you fear to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant; and you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.
And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the people of the East lay along the valley like locusts for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand which is upon the seashore for multitude. When Gideon came, behold, a man was telling a dream to his comrade; and he said, "Behold, I dreamed a dream; and lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian, and came to the tent, and struck it so that it fell, and turned it upside down, so that the tent lay flat. And he said to them, "Look at me, and do likewise; when I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do.
And the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars, holding in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow; and they cried, "A sword for the LORD and for Gideon! When they blew the three hundred trumpets, the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow and against all the army; and the army fled as far as Bethshittah toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abelmeholah, by Tabbath Judges Clay pots with lamps inside!
Clay pots that are smashed and broken in order to let the inner light shine through! Perhaps this Old Testament story inspired the Apostle Paul to describe Christians as mere vessels of clay designed to hold and contain a priceless treasure,. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.
For it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, "I believed, and so I spoke," we too believe, and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.
For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day.
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For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. This method usually was abandoned after the invention of the wheel.
The former method commonly used coils of clay to form the shape of the vessel, which was then smoothed off into finished form. Most of the pottery used in Bible times was thrown on the wheel The better vessels were finished off with a slip, which is an extra pure grade of clay that will produce the finest of colors. It was the consistency of cream and was applied to the vessel before firing. An additional technique, which produced one of the most pleasing patterns, was burnishing To burnish a vessel the potter used a hard instrument, such as a piece of bone, and pressed against the original vessel or the slipped vessel, producing the desired pattern.
This method gave a play of light and shadow to the fired vessel. This was not a reference to the home of the potter, but to his place of manufacture. The house would be near to a field where clay could be weathered and stored and where it could be prepared for fashioning.