Chapter 48

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Will had opened every drawer in the studio searching for the small clay item.  He was certain he had seen what he was trying to find behind or under something in the back or on the side.  There were so many small clay items around the shop that his mind easily played tricks on him when he saw glimpses of objects close in size.  Will needed to find this one piece though, because this one was going to be the model for a new line.  When he found the little piece of clay, the object appeared a little marred yet was recognizable.  He took the item from the drawer and years of stasis then held small piece tight in his hand close to his lips.  The tiny piece was something Michael had created as a boy.  More than that, something the family worked on together.

When Michael was a small boy Will wanted to teach him how creating something could be magical.  Michael’s father did this with a simple method just as his father taught him.  Will set up a play area in a well-lit corner of the studio, not far from the wheel where he himself often worked, and filled the area with clay.

Michael’s mornings and afternoons were spent playing with the clay.  Music played through the studio and Michael was comfortable in his own little area.  Michael built castles out of pinecones, thistle, grasses, and twine.  Army columns were created from sticks and clay.  He would lump in sand, gravel, and dirt into the clay for color and texture on the sides of the castle walls during battles.  Nothing was disallowed.  In doing this, Michael had an easier and easier time making the shapes that had at first challenged him.  The clay mixed with filler began to be cumbersome and slow compared to the clay alone.  Before too long Michael would reach for the pile of clay to shape what was needed.  As his father watched, over the course of days, the odds and ends worked their way out of the clay and to the side of the play area.  Michael had learned to do everything he needed to with the clay alone.

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